Fully vaccinated citizens of Mumbai can travel in local trains from August 15, but a gap of 14 days from the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine is necessary to avail the facility, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday.
Speaking in a live webcast, he also said that his government was considering to grant relaxations to shops, malls, restaurants and places of religious worship, and a decision would be taken following a meeting of the coronavirus task force on Monday.
The suburban train services in the metropolis were suspended for general public in April this year when the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic was at its peak in the state. At present, only government employees and essential services staffers are allowed to travel in local trains.
“Fully vaccinated people will be allowed to travel on local trains from August 15. Those who have completed 14 days after their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine can apply on a specially-created app to get a special railway pass and they can collect it from the local ward offices,” he said, adding that those who do not have smartphones, can obtain the pass offline.
As of now, 19 lakh people in Mumbai are fully vaccinated, Thackeray added.
Over the last few days, several organisations and political parties had been demanding that common people, who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, be allowed to board the local trains, called the lifeline of Mumbai.
Thackeray said that stopping the third wave of coronavirus was in the hands of people by following COVID-appropriate behaviour.
“The virus is still lurking around us and we should not be complacent. I understand that your patience is wearing off. But please don’t lose patience,” he said.
We need to ascertain how many fully vaccinated citizens are there and how much relaxation can be given to them, he said, adding that it will take another week to take a decision on that.
He said that ‘work from home’ should continue wherever possible and those who cannot follow it, should have staggered work hours so that there is no crowding in offices.
Thackeray said places where COVID-19 numbers continue to show a spike will have to be remain under restrictions.
He said that the situation in Pune, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Beed districts was a cause of concern.
He said the responsibility of the local administration in these districts was huge.
Thackeray thanked the administrations of the flood-hit districts for keeping a vigil on the health of the affected people to prevent flood related diseases as well as COVID-19.