MUMBAI: With Covid cases in Maharashtra still at a high level, the lockdown-like restrictions have been extended till 7am, June 1.
According to the new order, anyone entering the state will have to carry a negative RT-PCR report.
This rule was earlier applicable only to the travellers coming in from the states marked as sensitive origin, now the rule has been extended for people coming into the state from any part of the country.
The state cabinet on Wednesday agreed to extend the lockdown-like restrictions for two weeks till May 30. The current curbs end at 7am on May 15.
CM Uddhav Thackeray will take the final decision and a notification will be issued accordingly in the next two-three days, said public health minister Rajesh Tope.
Trader associations strongly opposed the step, while MNS said the government should come up with an ‘exit plan’ instead of extending the lockdown as livelihoods are being adversely affected.
Tope said the lockdown-like measures are unlikely to be changed much and ruled out any relaxation on travelling by local trains. At the moment, only essential workers can use the trains. Shops selling essentials can be open only for four hours from 7am to 11am, home deliveries are allowed until 8pm. Buses, autos, taxis can ply with 50% capacity but travellers have to prove that moving about is necessary. Weddings are restricted to 2 hours with not more than 25 people present.
Looking at the positive effect of the lockdown-like curbs in reining in the raging pandemic, all ministers unanimously said the restrictions must be extended, said Tope after the meeting. It was pointed out that active cases had reached close to 7 lakh in the state but are now down to 4.8 lakh.
An Indian Institute of Science model has shown that Maharashtra had avoided over 19,000 deaths and about 4 million cases due to the timely restrictions.
Trader associations strongly opposed the move, saying retail traders have lost business worth Rs 5,000 crore in the last 40 days. Viren Shah, president of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA), said they are staring at more losses now if they do not get any government package. Shah also claimed that e-tailers are violating the rule against delivering non-essentials and they will have to move court if the government doesn’t restrain these platforms.
MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande advocated a graded ‘exit plan’ instead of extending the lockdown livelihoods are taking a hit. “The government should inform people about the criteria for allowing relaxation, for example, new cases should stand below 10,000-15,000. So many have lost their jobs, their savings are feeling helpless,” said Deshpande.
"The central govt should announce subsidies to install oxygen plants on large scale. Maharastra govt's industry department has made a policy to provide financial assistance to companies that will install oxygen plants in the state," reported news agency ANI quoting minister Nawab Malik.
"12 lakh people are waiting for their second dose due to the shortage of vaccines. We're not receiving vaccine doses. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued a letter of intent for 1 crore vaccines," the minister added.
Sujit Mahamulkar / TNN / Updated: May 13, 2021, 13:10 IST