Maharashtra Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday decided not to provide relaxations but continue Level 3 curbs in the state amid the possibility of emergence of COVID-19 third wave predicted by the Indian Medical Association.
Even though the state reports the lowest rate of virus outbreak compared to the other states, the cabinet was unanimous that focus should be given on stepping up corona management measures and COVID Appropriate Behavior. In view of the Cabinet's decision, the wait for the general public to commute in Mumbai suburban trains gets longer. Besides, shops will function up to 4 pm and there won’t be an increase in the present timings.
However, the government has relaxed the RTPCR test condition for air travelers from other states who have already taken two vaccine doses.
Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said, ‘’There will be no change in the prevailing curbs imposed on the timings of shops and travelling in local trains. The government is focusing on inoculation of as many people as possible in the state. Ten districts have 96,543 cases which is 92.47%. These districts included Pune, Thane, Sangali, Kolhapur, Mumbai, Satara, Ahmednagar, Raigad, Solapur and Nashik.’’
As on date the state’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination was reported at 3,75,16,773. ‘’There is inadequate supply of vaccine doses in Maharashtra and the state government is pursuing a higher supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses with the Centre. The state expects 4 crore doses by August,’’ said Tope.
Tope expressed serious concern over the crowding at the tourist destinations and markets after Level 5 restrictions under the unlock strategy were relaxed and brought down to minimum Level 3 curbs in all districts. ‘’If the people continue to flock to tourist destinations and markets, the Home Ministry has instructed the states to impose strict restrictions once again to avoid virus spread,’’ he noted.
Tope said the second wave was a warning but people are gathering in large numbers at public places. ‘’People are not taking precautions even after experts have warned of a third wave of corona outbreaks," he said.
As per the Level 3 curbs, essential shops and establishments can remain open till 4 pm on all days, non-essential shops and establishments can remain open till 4 pm on weekdays, restaurants will be allowed dine-in facility with 50 per cent capacity till 4 pm on weekdays and takeaways and home deliveries after that. Further, use of suburban trains will be only for medical staff and personnel engaged in essential services. Gyms and salons will remain open till 4 pm at 50 per cent capacity.