A day after the unanimous decision in the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Friday announced the lockdown in Maharashtra, which is scheduled to end at 7 am on June 1, will be extended by 15 days. It is likely to be till midnight June 15 or till 7 am on June 16. The government will issue notification soon.
‘’The recovery rate in the state, which has fallen to below 80%, has now shot up to 93%. There is no issue with regard to the availability of beds. However, the government wants to see that the curve is flatten and therefore the districts with high number of cases and high positivity rate will continue to have strict restrictions. But the government proposes to relax lockdown restrictions in districts with fall in positivity rate and reduction in number of cases,’’ said Tope.
Tope reiterated that the government proposes to provide relaxations in the few stringent curbs in districts where there has been a continuous fall in COVID 19 cases, decline in positivity rate and reduction in constraints in the availability of beds. However, the strict curbs will continue in 21 districts which report high rate in the growth of COVID 19 patients and they are from red zone. The state cabinet has authorized Thackeray to take a final decision on relaxations to be provided in the curbs based on the recommendations of the Task Force on COVID 19 headed by Dr Sanjay Oak.
Tope announced that the withdrawal of weekly lockdown in Pune district in the wake of decline in COVID 19 cases and dip in positivity rate. Now, the shops will remain open from 7 am to 11 am on Saturday and Sunday also.
According to Tope, the government has decided to shift all positive patients in the institutional quarantine in rural areas amid galloping virus infection. The district administration has been asked to discourage home quarantine as it was not helping in controlling the virus spread and infection. He argued that patients will be examined daily by a team of doctors in the institutional quarantine and in covid care centres and this will help increase the recovery rate.