The Maharashtra government, while extending the COVID-19 lockdown till June 15, allowed partial relaxations in districts with a positivity rate of 10 percent or less, and less than 40 percent occupancy of oxygen beds.
An official order issued by the state government, shortly after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's address to the state, specified that the curbs would be gradually lifted based on the COVID-19 situation in the respective districts.
In districts with less than 10 percent positivity rate and less than 40 percent occupancy of oxygen beds, the following relaxations will come into effect:
- Essential shops to be allowed to operate from 7 am to 2 pm. As per the curbs so far, the essential shops - which include meat, poultry, milk and grocery stores - were required to be closed at 11 am.
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- E-commerce delivery of non-essential items will be allowed in all such districts.
- Restrictions on public movement will come into effect after 3 pm. However, the movement will be allowed beyond 3 pm as well for medical and other emergencies.
- Opening of non-essential shops - stand-alone shops and those not based in shopping malls - to be decided by the local authority. If allowed, the non-essential shops cannot remain open on weekends, the order stated.
- Government offices involved in non-COVID-19-work can also reopen in such districts with 25 percent staff-strength, as per the guidelines.
- Restaurants would continue to operate only for home delivery purpose.
- Agriculture sector-related shops can remain open till 2 pm on weekdays, the order said.
In districts where the positivity rate is over 20 percent and occupancy of oxygen beds is more than 75 percent, the norms would be tightened as follows:
- District borders of such districts to be sealed.
- No influx or outflow of people into and from the district would be allowed.
- The movement of individuals would be permitted only in case of death in the family, on medical grounds, and performing duty related to emergency, and essential services.
- The non-essential shops would remain shut. The essential shops would be allowed to remain open only between 7 am and 11 am.
- None of the relaxations announced in the districts with 10 percent or less positivity rate would apply in districts where the test positivity rate is higher.
The lockdown-like curbs were imposed in Maharashtra since mid-April. The Thackeray government has decided to extend the same, despite the state's cumulative positivity rate climbing down to 8.3 percent.As per the last update issued by the health department on May 30, Maharashtra recorded its lowest per-day count of infections in over two months. The state registered 18,600 cases, lowest since March 17. The corresponding period also witnessed 402 deaths due to the contagious disease. The overall death count has crossed 96,000, whereas the total tally of infections has breached the 57-lakh mark.