Maharashtra govt tightens Covid-19 restrictions amid Delta variant scare

Maha Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte issued the new order amidst the spread of the Delta Plus variant and the third wave scare which is set to hit in the next four-six weeks.

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Maharashtra government has again decided to tighten the rules amid the rise in the number of COVID-19 and the new Delta Plus variant cases. Malls and multiplexes will have to remain shut while the shop timings will also be restricted. 

Maha Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte issued the new order amidst the spread of the Delta Plus variant and the third wave scare which is set to hit in the next four-six weeks.

A couple of weeks ago, the government had announced a five-level plan on unlocking the state. Linking the level of restrictions in each district to the positivity rate and the occupancy of oxygenated beds. 

The government has now tightened the rules to curb the rising numbers and as a preventive step to avert the third wave. The order will affect cities like Thane, Pune, Nagpur, which had seen far more relaxations than Mumbai. At present, Mumbai is under level 3 wherein shops, restaurants, gyms, and salons are open till 4 pm in the city with a cap on their capacity. The BMC will issue specific orders for Mumbai.

Public places such as gardens, playgrounds will remain open from 5 am to 9 am. Social, religious and entertainment programs are allowed to be held from during weekdays till 4 pm in the presence of 50 people.

Districts under levels 4 and 5 will face more stricter restriction. On 27 June 2021, the state recorded 9,974 fresh cases of Covid-19. The presence of the new Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 has caused concern. More than 20 cases of the new variant have been detected in seven areas in the state.

In an order, Kunte stated that state-level trigger, mandating all cities and districts to remain at level 3 or above.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a review meeting recently to evaluate the requirements of oxygen, ICU beds, and hospitals. The seven districts that have reported the Delta plus variant have been asked to take extra precautions.