Representational image
Representational image

On Sunday the Maharashtra government released guidelines for the phased re-opening of the state following over two months of lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

There will however be another month-long phase of lockdown for containment zones within the state. Additionally, there will be a 'night curfew' that will restrict the movement of individuals between 9 pm and 5 am, except for essential activities. This is in keeping with the guidelines released by the Centre a day earlier.

As per the list of guidelines released by the Maharashtra government on Sunday afternoon, containment zones will be demarcated by the Municipal or District Authorities keeping the Health Ministry's guidelines in mind. In these zones "only essential activities shall be allowed".

There will also be strict perimeter control to ensure that people do not move in or out of the zones except for essential services and medical necessities.

"The municipal commissioners in corporation areas and district collectors in other parts of the district, are empowered to decide the containment zones. Such zones should be a unit which can be effectively governed and efficiently managed considering the resources availability," the Maharashtra government said.

In case you were wondering, a containment zone is a small area within a red or orange zone that has recorded novel coronavirus cases. It be an entire municipal corporation or even be as small as a single floor of a high-rise building.

As per the Maharashtra government, a containment zone can be a residential colony, mohalla, slum, building, group of buildings, lane, ward, police station area, villages, small cluster of villages etc.

"Anything larger than this (eg. Whole taluka/ Whole Municipal Corporation etc.) can be declared as containment zone only after consultation with Chief Secretary," the notice said.

Maharashtra continues to be the state worst affected by the virus outbreak. As per data given by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday afternoon, the state has recorded 65,168 cases thus far. Of these 34,890 cases remain active.

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Free Press Journal