Express News Service
MUMBAI: The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is not over yet, and active cases are still close to the first wave’s peak, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said Sunday while announcing the current lockdown-like restrictions in the state would be extended by 15 days with some relaxations.
Maharashtra reported 18,600 new cases on Sunday, its lowest one-day count since mid-March this year, even as its active cases stood at 2,71,801. Lapses during the first wave of the pandemic last year and a hurried decision of reopening everything cost us the lives of the many people during the second wave, Thackeray said.
“Every life is important. Therefore, people threatening to protest if the restrictions are not eased out should understand the gravity of the situation. It is true that the lockdown is not the solutions and business should operate but they cannot afford to do this at this moment,” Thackeray said.
He added it is one of the toughest and bitter decisions to impose the restrictions over his own people. Thackeray said in districts that are reporting less than 10 per cent positivity rate, the authorities can extend the operation time, between 7 am and 2 pm, for essential shops and establishments.
“After 2 pm, only essential services will be allowed to operate. The district authority will also take the call for reopening non-essential shops or malls. If any district positivity rate is more than 20 per cent, then that districts will have to seal its border,” he said.
CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray addressing the state https://t.co/W0FQgkntug
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) May 30, 2021
Haryana, Odisha and Telangana extend lockdown
Meanwhile, Haryana, Odisha and Telangana were the latest among states and Union Territories to extend the COVID-induced lockdown, while Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday announced a partial easing of restrictions in districts with less active cases, though night curfew and weekend shutdown will remain.
Many states, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Goa, have extended the lockdown or restrictions for a week to a fortnight in June, while some of them like Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have also announced a certain relaxation in the curbs due to a decline in new cases and positivity rate.