LOCKDOWN HAS BEEN EXTENDED IN MAHARASHTRA!
Since the number of Covid cases in the state has been high, the state cabinet decided on Wednesday to extend the lockdown-like restriction for another two weeks. The news comes just hours after the state's cabinet ministers met for a briefing. The Maharashtra government declared on May 12 that the current lockdown will be extended until May 31 in order to further curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
In Mumbai, Thane 1,908 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases in the Maharashtra district to 4,94,022, according to an official. T the new cases were registered on Wednesday. The virus has resulted in the deaths of 68 more people, bringing the total casualty count in the district to 8,241. The Covid-19 mortality rate in Thane was 1.66 percent.
Travel in public transportation is prohibited in Maharashtra, except for critical services, according to the Maharashtra government's restrictions, which were introduced on April 22 and were extended until May 15. All government and private offices have been told to operate with just 15% of their staff, and wedding involvement has been limited to 25%. Cinemas, schools, universities, and other educational facilities, shopping centres, and other non-essential amenities are among the other limitations.
Despite a decreasing slope in daily cases in Maharashtra, the state government believes that strict restrictions on people's movement should be maintained. As a result, these restrictions have been extended until May 31.
The state government also announced a temporary suspension of vaccines for those aged 18 to 44, diverting 10 lakh doses to those aged 45 and up. Around 20 lakh people in the 45-plus age group are waiting for their second dose, including 16 lakh for Covishield. Starting Thursday, 112 sites will only provide vaccination to those in the 45-plus age group.
Trader associations were outspoken in their opposition toward the extended lockdown, claiming that retail traders have lost Rs 5,000 crore in business in the last 40 days. Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA) has stated that they are now facing even more losses if they do not receive any government assistance. It also said that e-tailers are breaking the law against shipping non-essentials and that if the government does not act, they would have to go to court.
However, the Maharashtra government's strict measures under the 'Break the Chain' guidelines have undoubtedly reduced the number of COVID-19 incidents, but the curve is not yet stable. While the number of cases in certain districts remains a source of concern for the state, there are 12-15 districts in the state that have seen a decrease in COVID-19 cases. The state government believes that strict limits on people's movement should be maintained in order to avoid a third wave of the pandemic in the state.