Lockdown in Maharashtra extended till July 31.

 Lockdown in Maharashtra extended till July 31.

The Maharashtra government has announced extension of lockdown in the state till July 31. The decision came amid the unabated rise in number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the state. 

Issuing guidelines for what it called “Mission begin Again”, the Maharashtra government said that the movement of people for non-essential activities will be restricted within the neighbourhoods. 

“It is further directed that the movement of persons for the purposes of non-essential activities like shopping and the outdoor exercises, shall be restricted within the neighbourhood area limits with all necessary prescribed mandatory precautions of wearing masks, social distancing and personal hygiene,” a statement read.

“Concerned District Collector and Commissioners of the Municipal Corporations in the state may enforce certain measures and necessary restrictions in specified local areas on the permitted non-essential activities and movement of persons to control COVID-19,” the statement said. 

As per the guidelines, unrestricted movement will be allowed for those going to offices or medical emergencies. 

From July 1, all shops selling essential items, E-commerce services for both essential and non-essential items, all industrial units operational currently and home delivery of food will be allowed, as per the new guidelines. 

Moreover, all private offices in Mumbai Metropolitan Region can operate with 10 per cent strength or 10 people.

“All Government offices (excluding Emergency, health and Medical, treasuries, disaster management, police, NIC, food and Civil Supply, FCI, NYK, Municipal Services) to function with 15% strength or 15 persons – whichever is higher,” read the guidelines.

The move comes a day before the first round of Centre’s phase lockdown exit plan comes to an end. In Unlock 1.0, the Centre had allowed opening of shopping malls, religious places and inter-state travel, while leaving it on the states to decide on relaxations based on the assessment of virus spread. 

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had on Sunday said that restrictions will continue in the state even after June 30 as the crisis was not over. “Will lockdown be lifted after June 30? The clear answer is no,” Thackeray tweeted later. 

The unlock process, dubbed Mission Begin Again by the state government, is being gradually implemented to put the economy back on track, Thackeray said in his address.

Thackeray said there will be some restrictions in the state after June 30 but more relaxations will be offered
gradually.

In the financial capital Mumbai, police urged the city residents not to move beyond the two-km radius of their homes unless it is for attending office or medical emergencies.

With the further easing of coronavirus-induced curbs in the state, some salons opened in the city on Sunday after a gap of three months while many remained closed due to lack of manpower.

Chief Minister Thackeray also said the ‘Chase the Virus’ initiative that received good results in worst-hit Mumbai will now be expanded to other parts of the state.

As part of the campaign, 15 close contacts of a COVID-19 patient will be compulsorily kept in institutional quarantine. It was launched on May 27.

Maharashtra reported its biggest single-day spike of 5,493 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, which took the tally of patients in the state to 1,64,626. The state had reported over 5,000 COVID-19 cases on Friday (5,024) and Saturday (5,318) as well.

Sreasta Pandit

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