Amid multiple cases of the new Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 being reported in different parts of the state, the Maharashtra government on Friday issued a new order on the level of restrictions due to the new mutant version of the Delta strain.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government has decided to bring back some Covid-related restrictions in the state after Delta Plus variant cases have been reported.
Tightening the Covid-19 curbs, the state government has that instead of a five-level unlock, which the government announced earlier, there will be three-level restrictions in all districts now.
The state government also said that all administrative units will be under level 3 and above (4 or 5) until further orders, as per the new guidelines issued as part of a government notification, which also calls for pushing for 70% vaccination of eligible population in the state.
The state government also said that the weekly positivity rate regarding levels of restrictions will be determined on the basis of RT-PCR tests, and not rapid antigen or other tests, describing Delta plus as a ‘variant of concern’.
Delta plus has been declared a variant of concern by the Central Government.
The decision has been taken considering the rising number of Delta plus variant cases in the state, the government said.
Under level three restrictions
Essential shops and establishments can remain open till 4 pm on all days in areas falling under level 3 of the five-step unlock plan.
Non-essential shops and establishments can remain open till 4 pm on weekdays, it said.
Restaurants will be allowed dine-in facility with 50% capacity till 4 pm on weekdays and takeaways and home deliveries after that, the notification said.
Use of suburban trains will be only for medical staff and personnel engaged in essential services, it said
Gyms and salons will remain open till 4 pm at 50% capacity, the government order said.
The government order also said that flying squads will enforce Covid-19-appropriate behaviour among people and impose fines for violations
Meanwhile, Maharashtra has reported its first Covid-19 death linked to the Delta Plus variant of SARS-CoV-2. Out of 21 Delta Plus variant cases in Covid-19 patients in Maharashtra, one 80-year-old woman with co-morbidities has passed away, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said.
The state has reported 21 cases of the Delta plus variant of coronavirus so far. The first one was reported in April this year amid the second wave of Covid 19
Delta plus cases have been found in Ratnagiri, Jalgaon and some other districts of the state, requiring stricter curbs, the notification read.
Maharashtra has also become the first state in the country to administer three crore coronavirus vaccine doses since a nationwide inoculation drive began on 16 January this year.
Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Dr Pradeep Vyas said Maharashtra, till Thursday, had administered 2,97,23,951 doses, while the coveted 3-crore mark was reached around 2 pm on Friday. “The cumulative vaccination dose figure has reached 3,00,27,217 as of 2 pm during the day,” he added.