Published On : Sun, May 31st, 2020

Maharashtra to allow essential and non-essential shops to open, no inter-district travel allowed

Maharashtra will allow essential and non-essential goods and service providers to begin operations once it begins easing the lockdown in June. Shopping complexes and malls however, may have to wait a tad longer to open, government officials said.

Maharashtra which has the highest number of covid-19 cases in the country and accounts for 50% of the total fatalities, does not want to open the lockdown in a hurry.

“We want economic activity in the state to begin. So we would be easing the lockdown. However, we know that easing the lockdown also means increase in the number of cases. So we will be very careful of which areas to lift the lockdown in,” said an official from the state government.

Tomorrow is the last day of lockdown 4.0 and the state may announce its plans for lockdown easing.

Till Friday, Maharashtra had 62228 covid-19 positive cases. Active cases however, are at 33124 and total deaths at 2098.

Over half of the total cases in the state are from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region with total cases at 36932. Active cases are at 19745.

“We would be allowing essential and non-essential goods and service providers to begin operations. Shopping complexes and malls however, may be allowed to open later,” said a senior BMC official adding that shops would be allowed to open on certain identified roads on alternate days to avoid crowding.

Inter-district movement however, may not be allowed as it may lead to cross infection.

With monsoon round the corner, the state would not only be fighting covid-19 but also vector-borne diseases. The government thus wants to be cautious in its approach to lifting the lockdwon.

While places such as clubs, gymnasiums, swimming pools, playgrounds will take time to open, the state may consider opening schools and colleges after 15 June, based on how the covid-19 situation develops in Mumbai.

“I can assure you one thing that as we ease the lockdown, which will happen in a calibrated manner, we will be informing in advance that two days down the line this will open, then further two days down the line that will open. So that people get the time to prepare, there is no panic moving out,” Maharashtra Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta had said on Tuesday.

Patient doubling time for the state is now 15.7 days from 11 days in the last week. While recovery rate is at 43.38%, mortality rate is at 3.37%.