Shop timings in Maharashtra likely to stagger under the ambit of lockdown relaxations.
In wake of the persistent rise of coronavirus infection in about 15 districts in Maharashtra, the state government on Thursday decided to extend the lockdown beyond June 1. This will be accompanied by certain relaxations, such as staggered timings of essential shops across the territory, that is presently limited to four hours a day, from 7 AM to 11 PM. The final decision will be taken in the next two days, officials informed.
Maharashtra favours a phased unlock
Maharashtra's COVID lockdown was slated until 7 AM on June 1 with the aims of breaking the chain of the second wave of coronavirus, in epicentre Mumbai and other state districts. All citizens, since April 22, have been restricted to step out unless they need medical attention, are engaged in essential services or need to shop for essential goods under the clasp of the government order.
However now, the state has decided to relax certain guidelines and continue the lockdown in all districts due to the significant threat of the coronavirus spread. As per reports, shops selling essential commodities will be allowed to work for longer hours here. Reportedly, the government will also open certain shops and stores in the non-essential categories.
At the same time, restrictions will continue for all other sectors, where social distancing is essential like hotels, parlours and gyms among others. These will be eased once a major chunk of the population is vaccinated. Officials have stated that the restrictions might continue till June 15.
The State Health Minister informed that the Chief Minister will announce the final decision about the extension and severity of curbs after discussions with the COVID management task force. In a statement, the CM reportedly stated that the coronavirus effect is propelling in some districts with the same effect as that of the first wave, despite an overall dip in the test positivity rate The added threat of mucormycosis rise is yet another reason to maintain caution. Lifting the lockdown and opening various activities now will be premature however, certain relaxations will be granted in a phased manner, June 1 onwards.