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With Maharashtra set to revise lockdown guidelines, what’s expected to open and what may remain shut?

According to sources, those entering the state would still have to produce a negative RT-PCR report, with the test having been conducted within the last 24 hours.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
Updated: May 30, 2021 10:52:09 pm
Covid-19The second wave of the pandemic has reached its peak and the rate of infections is slowing down in most parts of the state. (Express file photo)

Though Maharashtra extended the lockdown for the next 15 days while considering some relaxations of curbs depending upon the local situation in districts, it is unlikely to withdraw its decision of negative report of RT-PCR Covid test and e-pass for inter-district travel, a mandatory rule for those entering the state.

The pandemic’s second wave has reached its peak and is slowing down in most parts of the state. However, the situation is worrisome in some districts, especially due to surge in mucormycosis cases.

“Around 15 districts have the daily positivity rate, which is higher than that of the entire state. The situation in these districts needs to be brought under control, besides arranging sufficient beds for Covid patients,” State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said recently.

The state decided to extend the lockdown after taking a review of all districts. Tope said, “There will be relaxation in some restrictions but they will be declared by the chief minister. The district administration will have to decide on whether to impose additional restrictions during the lockdown, depending upon their situation.”

Mandatory negative RT-PCR report

Sources said restrictions for those entering the state will continue with mandatory negative report of RT-PCR test carried out within 24 hours. “The Covid situation in Maharashtra has improved but many states are still facing the heat. It will be safer to continue with the mandatory negative RT-PCR test report for those entering the state till the situation improves across the country,” he said.

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E-pass

The state government is still unable to decide whether to allow inter-district travel without valid reason. “E-pass was introduced for inter-district travel for those having valid reasons like health emergencies or urgent work. Some districts still have high positivity rates, so it will be risky to withdraw the condition for the entire state,” said a government official.

Essential and non-essential-category stores

The relaxations are likely to include increased working time for essential-category stores and opening up of business by non-essential-category stores. They will function as per the local situation.

Private offices

Private offices will be allowed to operate with limited number of staffers. Covid-appropriate behaviour will be made mandatory for those coming to office. Most of the workers will be encouraged to work from home.

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