As Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra continue to see a steady drop over the last few days, the state government may begin the Unlock process for Mumbai from June 1, say sources. While the timings for relaxations are not likely to full-fledged, several shops may be allowed to stay open in a staggered manner.
Though the state government is contemplating on imposing lockdown in 18 ‘Red Zone’ districts till June 15, Mumbai will see relaxations, government sources told CNN-News18 on Friday. “The positivity rate of Mumbai is much below 10%. That is why Mumbai is not in the red zone,” a senior official said.
Initially, non-essential services, mostly those related to the onset of monsoon, are likely to open. “Monsoon is fast approaching. Shudra several monsoon related activities that need to be completed. This can be pre-monsoon repairs, ironsmith work, welding. Also shops selling umbrellas, raincoats, gumboots, shoes will have to be opened,” a government officer said.
All the shops will be allowed to stay open only for a few stipulated hours. We will not be able to function for the entire day, he said.
Earlier during the day, state health minister Rajesh Tope said that no relaxations would be given in areas with high number of postive patients and where hospital bed availability is still an issue. However, curbs can be eased in areas where the situation had improved, he added.
The lockdown-like-restrictions in the state on account of the Covid-19 pandemic had been extended by 15 days but a fresh set of guidelines will be issued on June 1, Tope said. Asked if shops selling non-essential commodities will be allowed to open, he said all such decisions will be taken on June 1.
The state cabinet had taken the decision to extend the curbs on people’s movement and businesses — in force since mid-April — in a meeting on Thursday. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said the restrictions will continue after June 1, and will be relaxed later in a phased manner.