The Maharashtra Government issued an order on Friday, further tightening the restrictions in a serious bid to curb the virus spread and tackle the threat of the Delta Plus Variant in the state. The decision to impose additional stringent restrictions was unanimously approved by the cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray at its meeting held on Wednesday.
The order states that irrespective of weekly positivity rate and oxygen bed occupancy, Level 3 restrictions will continue. According to the issued order, Level 3 restrictions will continue irrespective of other parameters. If the restrictions are to be lowered below level 3, DDMA can take a call.
Relief and Rehabilitation Principal Secretary Aseem Gupta told Free Press Journal, "Fundamentally we have operated a new stare level trigger for minimum level 3 due to emergent new variant of concern (voc) as per the advisory of task force and GOI- this will remain in force until withdrawn. It will be withdrawn post passing of danger of resurgence caused by new variant and so declared by task force or GOI or PHD"
"Also, due to huge variation in the positivity rate as per RT PCR and Rapid Antigen test, we have mandated that only RT PCR tests shall be considered for criteria for level determination", Gupta added.
Gupta further pointed, "Grave concerns are being expressed for resurgence due to non compliance of CAB by public at large - we need to rein in defaulters. These defaulters are making it difficult to relax restrictions and are inviting trouble for whole society".
Level 3 restrictions will continue which include essential shops and establishments can remain open till 4pm on all days, non-essential shops and establishments can remain open till 4pm on weekdays.
It also rules that restaurants will be allowed to operate dine-in with 50 percent capacity, till 4pm on weekdays, and can allow takeaways and home deliveries there after. Use of local trains is restricted for medical and essential services only. While gyms, salons and spas will remain open till 4pm, operational on 50 percent capacity.
The trigger for fresh restrictions is also the rise in COVID 19 cases which on Thursday reported around 10,000 cases. The state has recorded 21 Delta Plus Variant cases comprising 9 from Ratnagiri, 7 from Jalgaon, 2 from Mumbai, and 1 each from Palghar, Sindhudurg, and Thane, noted state health minister Rajesh Tope.
Meanwhile, Delta Plus Covid-19 variant claimed its first victim in Maharashtra on Friday. A 80-year-old patient with co-morbidities in Ratnagiri died due to delta plus variant.