Maharashtra may ease COVID-19 curbs in districts showing case drop: Minister

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Mumbai, May 24 (PTI) Maharashtra Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar on Monday said the government was contemplating easing COVID-19-induced lockdown-like curbs in districts outside the 'red zone' after June 1.

Talking to reporters here, he said 15 districts (out of total 36) are in the 'red zone' (high caseload) and the curbs their could be made more stricter.

Buldhana, Kolhapur, Ratnagiri, Sangli, Yavatmal, Amravati, Sindhdurg, Solapur, Akola, Satara, Washim, Beed, Gadchiroli, Ahmednagar and Osmanabad are the districts where coronavirus cases are still on the rise, the minister said.

'There is a demand for easing restrictions where COVID-19 cases have reduced. The government may ease restrictions in districts where cases are coming down. It will take a decision after observing the situation for four to five more days ' he said.

Wadettiwar said suburban trains in Mumbai will not be opened to all for another 15 days at least.

'Social distancing is not possible in local trains. They will continue to ply for essential services staffers only,' he said.

Home quarantine system for COVID-19 patients has now been replaced with institutional quarantine in districts where the coronavirus cases are increasing, the minister said.

He said a long-term rehabilitation policy for people affected by natural disasters is being worked out.

Parts of Maharashtra were affected by the cyclonic storm Tauktae which brushed past the state last week.

In the coastal Sindhudurg district, a sum of Rs 639 crore will be required for laying an underground electricity cable network, he said. PTI MR RSY RSY