The state government is planning to allow shops to remain open for longer periods. File Image: AFP
With COVID-19 cases dipping in Maharashtra, the state government is planning to ease restrictions. The government has imposed stricter and uniform curbs, including complete weekend lockdown, across the state to contain the spread of coronavirus.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, the state government is planning to allow shops to remain open for longer periods. At present, shops and commercial establishments are permitted to remain open till 4 pm on weekdays.
"The government can give some relaxations as cases have stabilised. However, at the same time, strict monitoring should be followed daily for various aspects like daily cases, positivity rates, bed occupancy as well as liquid-oxygen consumption," said Dr Subhash Salunkhe, advisor to the state on COVID-19 management, as quoted by the report.
He, however, said that local train services must be opened in a staggered manner and preference can be given to those fully vaccinated.
"There should be strict enforcement of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour," he said.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had said that the government is considering granting exemptions to the fully-vaccinated people.
Pawar also said the government was mulling an extension of the timings of shops and restaurants from the current deadline of 4 pm. "The state is thinking of granting relaxations to those people who have got both doses of COVID-19 vaccine. This will encourage citizens to get inoculated," he said.
Pawar said demands are raised to extend the timings of shops and restaurants from 4 pm to 7 pm.
"We are thinking of extending the timing for shops and restaurants but the final decision will be taken by the CM. We are meeting with experts on Monday after which a decision will be taken on relaxations on weekends," the deputy CM said.
The state on July 26 reported 4,877 fresh coronavirus positive cases, the lowest single-day spike after February 17 this year, and 53 fatalities, the lowest in the last two weeks.
At 4,877, the cases dipped significantly compared with 6,843 infections were reported on July 25. Maharashtra has 88,729 active cases at present.