Health facilities should be upgraded to face third wave of Covid-19: CM Thackeray

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday made it clear that the lockdown-like restrictions imposed in the state in April have not to be lifted yet, and the local authorities have to make a decision about easing or tightening the curbs based on the criteria fixed.

His statement comes in the wake of the government’s announcement about the five-level plan to relax the restrictions in the state from Monday as per the weekly positivity rate and the occupancy of oxygen beds in a particular administrative unit. A notification about it had been issued late on Friday night.

“After the June 4 notification regarding the criteria and fixing of five levels, there is a general perception that the lockdown-like curbs have been lifted. But the local administration has to decide about easing or making the curbs more stricter, if necessary,” he said.

The five-level system was fixed to decide whether or not to put curbs, he said, adding that if the local administration has doubts over the criteria, then the current restrictions should continue.

Thackeray was speaking to district collectors, divisional commissioners and police officials during a virtual meeting. He directed the bureaucrats to ensure there is no crowding and violation of COVID-19 norms anywhere in the state.

The easing of restrictions based on the criteria of positivity rate and oxygen bed occupancy under the ‘Break the Chain’ restrictions has to be decided by the local administration considering the ground situation.

It has to be ensured that under no level, there is crowding in public gatherings, the chief minister said. The threat about the third wave of coronavirus is far from over, he added.

As per the ‘unlock’ notification, areas with an infection positivity rate of five per cent or less and oxygen bed occupancy of less than 25 per cent will be in the first category and can open up completely.

Whereas in the fifth category areas, with a positivity rate of more than 20 per cent, only essential shops will remain open and office attendance will be capped at 15 per cent.