COVID-19: Maharashtra lifts lockdown in 18 districts, Mumbai trains shut
The Maharashtra government has come up with a five-level reopening plan for the state after a lengthy shutdown due to the coronavirus, State Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said today, according to ANI. Maharashtra, the worst-hit Indian state in the COVID-19 outbreak, has been seeing a significant decline in its daily new cases and positivity rate. Lockdown-like curbs were imposed across Maharashtra in April.
All the districts of Maharashtra have been categorized into five levels based on their respective positivity rates and the occupancy of oxygen beds. Under Level-1, lockdown restrictions will be almost completely lifted in 18 districts as they have lower than 5% positivity rate and under 25% oxygen bed occupancy. The districts under this category include Nashik, Thane, and Jalgaon, according to News18.
For all districts falling under Level-1, restaurants, malls, shops, local trains, public spaces, tourist spots will be allowed to operate, according to the government order. Public and private offices, theaters, shootings, weddings, salons, and beauty parlors can also restart there. Apart from the aforementioned, this category also includes districts like Aurangabad, Buldhana, Chandrapur, Dhule, Gondia, Latur, Nanded, Parbhani, Jalna, Nagpur, Wardha, Washim, and Yavatmal.
For districts included in Level-2, Section 144 of the CrPC which bars the assembly of four or more people in public would remain in force. Further, gyms, salons, and beauty parlors will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. State capital Mumbai, which is currently reporting slightly above 5% positivity rate, falls under this category and hence local trains would still remain suspended there.
Besides Mumbai, cities and districts falling under Level-2 are Ahmednagar, Amaravati, Hingoli, and Nandurbar. Meanwhile, cities and districts like Akola, Beed, Kolhapur, Usmanabad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Sangli, Satara, Palghar, and Solapur have been placed under the Level-3 category.
Cities and districts that have been listed under Level-4 are Pune and Raigad. Separately, in Level-5 districts and cities, an e-pass will necessarily be needed for travel purposes. However, there is no longer a need to carry a negative RT-PCR report for intra-state transportation. Earlier in the day, the ongoing state-wide lockdown in Karnataka was extended by another week, until June 14.
Maharashtra has been seeing a significant decline in its daily new infections and positivity rate over the past few weeks. In the last 24 hours, the state registered 15,169 fresh coronavirus cases and 285 more fatalities, taking the tally to 57,76,184 and the death toll to 96,751. 29,270 patients were also discharged during the day. The state currently has 2,16,016 active COVID-19 cases.
India faced the world's worst coronavirus outbreak over the past couple of months, reporting lakhs of cases and thousands of deaths each day. Daily cases in India had peaked at 4,14,000 nearly a month ago. The situation is finally improving and states/UTs like Delhi have begun a reopening process. In the past 24 hours, India logged 1.34 lakh new COVID-19 cases and 2,800 deaths.