Updated: August 9, 2021 7:05:07 am
People who have been fully vaccinated and completed 14 days after receiving the second dose of an anti-Covid vaccine will be allowed to travel in Mumbai suburban local trains from August 15, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced Sunday.
Mumbai has fully vaccinated 19 lakh people, most of whom are entirely dependent on public transportation. At present, only government employees and essential services staffers are allowed to travel in local trains.
Thackeray said a meeting with the state Covid Task Force will be held Monday to discuss steps to ease curbs for places of worship and provide more relaxation to the hotels, restaurants and malls.
“We are allowing the local trains to the general public from August 15. In the first phase, those who have taken both the doses of vaccines and have completed 14 days after taking the second dose, will be allowed to travel by the local trains. We have prepared a mobile application where fully vaccinated people can register to get a railway pass,” Thackeray said while addressing the state through social media Sunday.
The CM said people will have to provide details of the two doses of vaccines, completion of 14 days after the second dose and a QR code, which will help the railways to verify authenticity, to obtain the travel pass. People who have smartphones can download the pass from the specially-created app. Those who don’t have smartphones, the CM said, can get a pass through the BMC offices and Mumbai suburban railways offices.
“At present, there are around 19 lakh people in Mumbai who have taken the two doses of (Covid) vaccines and have completed 14 days after the second dose. This number will go up daily till August 15. And once we become habituated to the pass system, then we will open up restaurants, malls and others in a phase-wise manner,” the CM added.
Referring to his recent meeting with the hotels and restaurants associations demanding more relaxations, Thackeray said, “The decision about (easing of curbs) for the hotels, restaurants, malls and places of worship will be taken after the discussions in a meeting with the state Covid Task Force tomorrow. That decision will be announced soon.” However, he said the announcement may take around 8-10 days.
On August 2, the Maharashtra government allowed malls, gymnasiums, yoga centres, salons, beauty parlours and spas to reopen with 50 per cent capacity, while shops and establishments were allowed to remain open till 8 pm on weekdays and till 3 pm on Saturday in 22 districts. Restaurants have also been allowed to remain open with 50 per cent seating capacity till 4 pm on weekdays only. In Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, however, has allowed shops and establishments to remain open till 10 pm on all days while all hotels and restaurants can remain open till 4 pm through the week.
Currently, the state government has not granted any relaxation to the places of worship in the state.
Citing Covid cases, Thackeray said precautions were needed in the districts of Pune, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Beed reporting a higher number of cases. “Even though we are implementing the oxygen self-reliant policy, there are limitations to the immediate oxygen production. Now, other states are seeing a rise in Covid cases. So, if there is an increase in the number of cases in the state, then we will have no option but to impose the lockdown,” he added.
Thackeray also urged the people to take a pledge to make a village, towns, district, and the state Covid-free from Independence Day.
The CM has also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to relax the 50 per cent reservation ceiling to provide reservations to the Maratha community. “If the 50 per cent ceiling is not relaxed, then it is not possible to provide reservation. While the Centre has proposed to grant powers to the states to give reservation, it will have no meaning if the reservation ceiling is not relaxed,” he said.
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