Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said the government was taking a “calculated risk” by relaxing the coronavirus-induced restrictions in the state, and added that people need to take care of themselves.
He made the statement during a virtual meeting with leading industrialists.
The state government has announced a five-level plan to relax the coronavirus-induced restrictions in the state from Monday, based on the weekly positivity rate and the occupancy of oxygen beds. A notification to this effect was issued on Friday night.
“The state government is taking a calculated risk and hence people have to take care of themselves. Nothing is going to be eased immediately. Some criteria and levels have been fixed and the local administration will take decisions on whether to ease restrictions and further tighten them,” the chief minister said.
As per the ‘unlock’ notification, areas with positivity rate of five per cent or less and oxygen bed occupancy of less than 25 per cent will be in the first category, and can open up completely.
Whereas in the fifth category areas, with positivity rate of more than 20 per cent, only essential shops will remain open and office attendance will be capped at 15 per cent.
During the meeting, Thackeray also said that the state should set an example before the country by showing that the industrial sector can function uninterrupted by following all COVID-19 norms during restrictions.
“We should not let ourselves be knocked down by the virus,” he said.
“Neither a lockdown is required nor do we want to get knocked down by the virus. So all health related rules have to be followed,” Thackeray added.
He said if there is a need to go for another lockdown after the possible third wave, there should be no impact on manufacturing.
“Industries should set up temporary accommodations in their premises for their staff and employees. The planning process should begin now,” he said.
Prominent among those who participated in the meetingincluded Uday Kotak, Sanjiv Bajaj, B Thiyagrajan, Naushad Forbes, Amit Kalyan,Ashok Hinduja, A N Subramanyam, Ajay Piramal, Harsh Goenka, Niranjan Hiranandani, along with the state government’s COVID-19 task force members Sanjay oak and Shashank Joshi.
A statement from the Chief Minister’s Office said the industrialists present at the meeting welcomed the criteria of positivity rate and oxygen bed occupancy to ease restrictions and the levels fixed.
They said awareness should be created about this among people, and also offered help in checking the spread of corona virus in rural areas .
They suggested that members of the unorganised sector should be vaccinated and the IT sector professionals should be allowed to continue working from home .
Their other suggestions include vaccination of not just employees of the industrial sector, but also their families.