With increasing number of cases being reported from the state, Maharashtra on June 29 extended the state-wide lockdown till July 31. Earlier, on June 28, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said that while lockdown won't be lifted, there might be easing of certain restrictions in the state.
So, what changes with the new extension of the lockdown in the state? According to an order by Maharashtra Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta, the state government has asked officials to enforce the necessary restrictions in their areas according to requirement.
"Concerned District Collector and Commissioners of the Municipal Corporations in the state may enforce certain measures and necessary restrictions in specified local areas on the permitted non-essential activities and movement of persons to control Covid-19," the order said.
Moreover, adopting Mumbai Police's diktat of following the 2 km-radius, the state government said today that it will restrict inter-district movement of persons within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) unless it is for essential services or office purposes.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"For shopping purposes, people are expected to use only nearby/neighborhood markets only," the government said, adding that long-distance travel for non-essential activities will not be permitted.
Here is a list of activities allowed in the state:
>> All essential shops which are allowed to remain open before this order shall continue to do so.
>> All non-essential shops will be allowed to continue as per relaxations and guidelines issued on 31 May and 4 June, and are in operation as per the policy of respective Municipal Corporation.
>> All non-essential markets, market areas and shops except malls and market complexes will remain open from 9 am to 5 pm.
>> Liquor shops will continue to operate if permitted, home delivery or otherwise.
>> Barber shops, spas, saloons, beauty parlors with conditions as permitted by the state government.
>> E-commerce activity for essential as well as non-essential items and materials.
>> Activities related to self-employed people like plumbers, electricians, pest-control and technicians.
>> Garages to mend vehicles and workshops with prior appointments
>> Marriage related gatherings on open spaces, lawns, non AC halls are permitted.
>> Printing and distribution of newspapers (including home delivery).
>> All the industrial units which are presently open will continue to operate.
>> All public and private construction sites, which are allowed to remain open and operational.
>> Home delivery restaurants and kitchen.
>> On-line distance leaning and related activities.
>> Offices/staff of Educational institutions (Universities/ Colleges/ Schools) for the purpose of non-teaching purposes including development of e-content, evaluation of answer sheets and declaration of results.
>> Movement of vehicles is also allowed with certain restrictions. These include:
Taxi/Cab: One driver with two passengers
Rickshaw: One plus two passengers
Four-wheeler: Driver with two more people
Two-wheeler: One rider and one passenger.
What is not allowed:
>> Schools, colleges, educational, training, coaching institutions etc.
>> International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA
>> Metro and suburban rail services
>> Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
>> Social/political/sports/ entertainment/academic/cultural/ religious functions and large congregations.
>> Religious places/ places of worship for public
>> Shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services
Moreover, Mumbai's civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has also made wearing of mask compulsory. A fine of Rs 1000 will be imposed on those seen violating it, the civic body said.