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Positivity rate, oxygen bed occupancy dip to Level 1 restrictions: BMC keeps restrictions unchanged at Level 3

Malls, theatres, and multiplexes, which have been allowed in Level 1 and 2, will also remain shut in Mumbai.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: June 19, 2021 12:05:32 am
The Public Health Department informed there is no need for an “oxygen trigger” in the Maharashtra for the coming week as well. (AP Photo)

Despite a fall in Covid-19 cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to tread cautiously and announced Friday that Mumbai will continue to remain at level three of restrictions.

As per a weekly review report issued by the state government Friday, the current average positivity rate in the city has dipped to 3.79 per cent and oxygen bed occupancy to 23.56 per cent, thus making it eligible for level 1 reopening under the state government’s five-level plan to ease curbs. Areas under level 1, are allowed maximum relaxations.

The civic body, however, said they will wait for a further dip in infections before allowing more relaxations. Currently, Mumbai is reporting between 700 and 800 Covid-19 cases daily. On Friday, it recorded 758 new cases and 19 deaths.

“The decision on unlocking Mumbai can be taken only after the Covid-19 positivity rate nears 1 per cent. As a precautionary measure, we are planning to go slow in reopening activities,” a BMC official said.

Travel in suburban trains, civic officials added, will remain restricted to only essential and medical workers. Malls, theatres, and multiplexes, which have been allowed in Level 1 and 2, will also remain shut in Mumbai. This means, there will be no change in the ongoing restrictions.

Additional Municipal Commissioner, Suresh Kakani said the BMC will review the situation again next week and then decide on further scaling up relaxations. “We will wait for at least one more week. Next week we will have a review meeting on the Covid-19 situation and then a decision on change in the level of restrictions will be taken,” Kakani said.

Municipal commissioner I S Chahal did not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, as the downward trend in the Covid-19 graph continued across Maharashtra, the Public Health Department informed there is no need for an “oxygen trigger” in the state for the coming week as well. “The total number of oxygen beds occupied across the state is 16,570 with a declining trend, as of June 17. With the number being less than 35,000, the state-level oxygen trigger does not get operated for the ensuing week,” the department said.

Traders seek more relaxations

City traders have demanded further opening up in the city citing losses.

Viren Shah, the president of Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA), said, “I spoke to (NCP president) Sharad Pawar ji over the phone and explained that in spite of Mumbai being in Level 1, the BMC commissioner was not ready to give any further relaxation. Pawar saheb has assured to speak to the BMC Commissioner for relaxation.”

What’s allowed under Level 1 restrictions

Most things are allowed to open as per pre-lockdown timings, including restaurants, local trains and parks. Private and government offices, sports activities, film shooting, marriages, funerals, society meetings, elections, construction, agriculture, e-commerce, gyms, salons, spas, buses, cargo movement, inter-district transport (except, if passing through containment zones) and manufacturing can also go back to normal operations.

Level 3 restrictions

In Mumbai, which is under level 3 restrictions, shops selling non-essential products are allowed to open until 4 pm on weekdays. For restaurants, dine-in is permitted at 50 per cent seating capacity until 4 pm on weekdays and, thereafter, only take away and home delivery services are allowed. Similarly, gyms, salons and beauty parlours can be open to 50 per cent of their capacity and allow customers by prior appointment only.

Public places and parks, under level 3, can open from 5 am to 9 am. While government office attendance is restricted to 50 per cent, private offices can be open on all days till 4 pm. Though the movement of people after 5 pm is curtailed, outdoor sports have been allowed both from 5 am to 9 am and 6 pm to 9 pm.

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