Hours before the Centre on Friday extended the nationwide lockdown till May 17, while introducing considerable relaxations, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said stringent lockdown conditions will continue in 14 districts of Maharashtra that are in the Red Zone, including the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad.
While some restrictions will be eased in the Orange Zone and the Green Zone, sources in the government said a limited set of economic activities are likely to be permitted in the Red Zones as well in line with the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Uddhav said the three zones have been created based on the number of cases in each district. “The Red Zone includes Mumbai and neighboring areas like Kalyan, Dombivli, Panvel, Pune and surrounding areas, as well as Nagpur and Aurangabad where numbers are rising daily.
At present, it is not in our interests to restart normal activities there,” he said while addressing the state through webcast. “In the Orange Zone, which includes districts with active cases, we are planning to increase the num ber of activities permitted, except in some areas. We are gradually removing restrictions in Green Zones,” he added.
As per the list issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday, of the total 36 districts in the state, 14 districts are in Red Zone, 16 in Orange Zone and six are in Green Zone. Though the state is yet to put out its own list of what will be allowed or not, as per the MHA guidelines, some of the relaxations in Red Zones include the reopening of private offices with wirth 33 per cent strength, construction activities in urban areas with on site accommodation arrangements for workers, reopening of standalone shops and shops in residential colonies and complexes and opening of standalone liquor shops among others.
Sources said that the relaxations allowed by MHA are under consideration of the state government and a final order may be issued on Saturday. “We are also in favour of opening public parks and gardens,” said a bureaucrat. Terming the lockdown as a “speed-breaker”, Uddhav said during his webcast that the lockdown helped to break the transmission chain.
Still, the numbers are rising because of the contacts of patients who were infected initially, he added.
“Though the economic cycle has come to a halt and it will lead to job losses and increase unemployment, the priority is to save the real assets of the nation – the people,” he added. Uddhav also said that the government is making efforts to send migrant workers back to their home states. “Those who want to go their states will be allowed to do so, only with due discipline and precautions and after speaking to their states. Similarly, even those want to return to Maharashtra will be allowed.
States are in touch with each other… But there should not any crowding,” he added.
He further said that district collectors will be instructed to make arrangements for people stuck in Maharashtra for intra-state travel. n Red Zone: Mumbai City) Mumbai suburban, Thane, Palghar, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Solapur, Yavatmal, Aurangabad, Satara, Dhule, Akola and Jalgaon n Orange Zone: Raigad, Ahmednagar, Amravati, Buldhana, Nandurbar, Kolhapur, Hingoli, Ratnagiri, Jalna, Nanded, Chandrapur, Parbhani, Sangli, Latur, Bhandara and Beed n Green Zone: Osmanabad, Washim, Sindhudurg, Gondia, Gadchiroli and Wardha.
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