Easing of lockdown, non-adherence to COVID norms behind surge in infections: Centre

Express News Service
MUMBAI: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that in the CM’s pandemic review meeting with the Covid task force, it was decided to relax restrictions in 25 of the state’s 36 districts. 

“We will relax restrictions in the districts where the positivity rate is less than the state average. While opening the economy, we have to be very careful and cautious. We do not want to see a Kerala-like situation,” said Tope. The state’s average positivity rate is 3.80%. Satara district has reported a positivity rate of 8.03%, which is the highest in the state.

“The state health department has submitted a report to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray recommending that he lift the restrictions in 25 districts which has a positivity rate lower than the state average and has better health infrastructure. The CM will make a decision and an official announcement will be made soon,” Tope said.

He said the state’s economy should be restarted by relaxing restrictions. “The government offices will operate with 50 per cent staffers. However, air-conditioning should not be used. Besides, the saloon and parlours will be also given permission to open and function by following Covid-19 protocol,” Tope said.Presently, a week-end lockdown is in place. It was decided in the meeting to let businesses and shops function as usual on Saturdays.  

 “The shop and hotel owners and people working in their establishments should be fully vaccinated. If not, then the RT- PCR test should be carried out regularly. We are also consulting with the railway authority to ensure that only those who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to commute,” Tope said.