Maharashtra Lockdown to be Extended? Govt Mulls Unlocking in Phases, Decision Tomorrow


The Maharashtra government is considering extending the state-wide lockdown by a week, sources informed CNN-News18. Followed by this, the state government may finally start lifting the curbs imposed in order to control the spread of coronavirus.

The state cabinet is currently mulling over two propositions. One, whether phased unlocking should start from June 7 or June 1. Sources further revealed that the opening up of the state will take place in four phases.

First phase will see opening of non-essential shops in a staggered manner. The final decision on whether phased unlocking should start from June 1 or from June 7, will be taken in the cabinet meeting scheduled to be held on Wednesday.

However, keeping in mind the virus, schools and colleges will continue to remain shut. Local trains will resume plying in the last phase of unlocking.

As the positivity rate dropped near 10% in Maharashtra, state health minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday had dropped a hint that the government might consider easing some of the Covid-19 restrictions in a phased manner after June 1. Authorities claimed that they have adequate health infrastructure and medicines.

“The government will assess the situation in the last week of May. If the positivity rate falls below 10% and the number of active cases comes down, the state may consider easing some restrictions,” Tope had told The Times of India.

Maharashtra has been reporting the highest positivity rate along with other states for weeks and now the state has finally managed to get its positivity rate below 10%. According to the central government health ministry’s presentation, the state’s positivity rate on Tuesday was below 12%.

On April 5, the state government imposed lockdown-like curbs after cases exponentially surged.

The positivity rate is currently more than 10% in 23 districts in Maharashtra. Tamil Nadu led the tally with 37 districts, followed by Karnataka’s 29 districts. The positivity rate is over 10% in 28 districts in Odisha and 24 in Rajasthan.

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