Minutes after Maharashtra Minister Vijay Wadettiwar announced the reopening of all activities in 18 of the 36 districts, the Chief Minister Uddhav Thakceray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has issued a major clarification. “The lockdown has not been lifted. The proposal is still under consideration,” the government said in a notification.
“We have not completely stopped the COVID-19 infection. Infection is still on the rise in some places in rural areas. Considering the deadly and changing form of the virus, it is important to decide whether or not to lift the ongoing curbs. The restrictions in the state have not been lifted,” read the notification in Marathi.
“Under ‘Break the Chain’ order, the government has begun to give some relaxations. Going forward, the Disaster Management Department is considering to unlock the state in five phases based on the weekly positivity rate and the availability of oxygen beds,” the order added.
“Detailed guidelines regarding tightening or lifting of the restrictions will be notified by the government,” it further said.
This came only minutes after Vijay Wadettiwar announced the reopening of all activities in 18 of the 36 districts. “In the first phase, the districts where the COVID-19 positivity rate is 5 per cent and oxygen availability is within 25 per cent will unlock. These districts are Thane, Aurangabad, Latur, Nanded, Jalna, Parbhani, Buldhana, Nashik, Jalgaon, Dhule, Nagpur, Bhandara, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Gondia, Wardha, Washim and Yavatmal,” he said.
“In these 18 districts, gyms, salons, gardens, walking tracks, restaurants, malls, and theaters have been allowed to open. Private, government offices will start with 100 per cent capacity; public events, wedding ceremonies will also be allowed 100 per cent capacity. moreover, buses can operate with 100 per cent capacity and inter-district travel has also been allowed,” he added.
Meanwhile, the government has clarified that the proposal is still under consideration and implementation will be carried out after full a review by the concerned administrative units of the districts.