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Covid-19: Maharashtra to relax restrictions for business establishments, shops, and restaurants in 25 districts

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on July 29, 2021

CM Thackeray holds meeting to discuss plan of action

Maharashtra government will relax Covid-19 related restrictions for business establishments, shops, restaurants in 25 districts where number of Covid-19 cases is less than the State average. However, the State has not yet decided on operating local trains in Mumbai.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday held a meeting with State Health Department officials and Covid-19 task force.

“There are 25 districts in the State (including Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region) where the positivity and growth rate (of Covid-19 patients) is less compared to the State’s average. Restrictions ( imposed to curb Covid-19 spread) in these 25 districts will be relaxed. The State has taken this decision,” said State Health Minister, Rajesh Tope, speaking to reporters in Mumbai following the meeting with CM Thackeray.

Strict restrictions will continue in 11 districts including Pune, Solapur, Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Raigad, Sidhudurg, Ratnagiri, Palgahr, Beed, and Ahmednagar. The number of cases here is higher compared to the State average.

The current restrictions include the complete closure of business on Saturdays and Sundays. “Now shops and other establishments would be allowed to open till 4 pm on Saturdays and will remain closed on Sundays,” said Tope, adding that shops, restaurants and gyms will be allowed to open with 50 per cent capacity and will be discouraged to use ACs. “There should be no crowd in malls and temples. GR will be issued in one or two days, with all minor details, once CM signs the file,” he said.

Mumbai local trains

Rajesh Tope said that the task force members had detailed discussions on demand to start local trains.

“There were different opinions on the demand. Some said that those who have taken two vaccines should be allowed to commute in trains, but there is no mechanism to check who has taken vaccines and who has not. Some also said that there are signs of the third wave and hence trains should not be started. However, people are commuting by buses, and the purpose to stop train commuting is not being served,” said Tope.

Rise in death numbers

Tope said that some districts have reported a high number of deaths in recent times. “This is because reconciliation is not happening at many places and accumulated data is being uploaded on the portal,” said Tope.

Minister said that rising number of Covid-19 patients in Kerala is cause for concern. The State is preparing to face the third wave by increasing oxygen generating capacity, beds, and pediatric ventilators. He reiterated that Centre must provide regular vaccines to the State.

Published on July 29, 2021

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