Maha govt getting ready to lift some more restrictions even as cases mount

4 months ago 20
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Mumbai: Maharashtra government has started opening up of businesses and other activities in a calibrated manner as part of the Mission Begin Again campaign that started on June 3 while announcing that lockdown 5:0, which ends on Tuesday, would be extended, albeit with more concessions, in a bid to contain the spread of the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

The state authorities are treading cautiously while allowing more workforce in private offices.

Private offices will be allowed to ramp up their workforce strength from the existing 10% to up to 30%.

More relaxations will be given for the operation of auto-rickshaws, private taxis, and goods vehicles as part of the Mission Begin Again campaign.

However, there is a lack of consensus among the state government authorities and officials about the resumption of the inter-state public transport service and also to intensify industrial operations.

“We have been relaxing the restrictions in a phased manner since June 3. Salons and beauty parlours have been allowed to operate from Sunday (June 28). However, concerns persist over the resumption of inter-district public transport activities amid fears that it might lead to a spike in Covid-19 positive cases owing to a surge in rural Maharashtra as well. Talks are also on to figure out if people working in private firms can be allowed to commute by their own vehicles,” said a state government official.

Though industrial activities are allowed in non-red zones, only a tenth of the units have resumed their operations.

“Most businesses have been allowed to operate. However, the simultaneous easing of restrictions for both inter-district public transport and industrial units will lead to overcrowding and could trigger a surge in Covid-19 positive cases. Restrictions need to be firmly in place in the densely populated Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR),” the official said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced that the prevailing lockdown 5:0, which ends in the state on Tuesday, would continue even though the government is looking at more relaxations.

He also warned of intensifying the lockdown restrictions in areas that have reported flouting of the rules.

The state government is expected to issue a notification for lockdown 6:0, an extension of the ongoing phase.

Maharashtra reported 5,493 new Covid-19 positive cases on Sunday, as the overall tally rose to 1,64,626.

The Covid-19 related toll in the state stands at 7,429, including 156 fresh deaths --- the highest in the country.

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