Maharashtra to ease lockdown from June onwards

MUMBAI : Come June, Maharashtra will, begin lifting the lockdown, that the state has been under for over 60 days. The lockdown however, will be lifted in a calibrated manner, allowing only a few establishments to function, according to officials from the Brihanmumbai municipal corporation and state government.

The officials said the government is cognizant of not only saving lives but livelihoods too.

“There will be gradual easing of the lockdown, which would include allowing essential and non-essential goods and service providers, except those in shopping complexes and malls, to open their shops,” said a BMC official on the condition of anonymity.

He explained the lifting would happen in a staggered manner so that we can ensure social distancing. BMC would allow shops to open on certain identified roads on alternate days to avoid crowding

Maharashtra Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta had on Tuesday told reporters that the lockdown removal will happen in a “very very gradual” and calibrated manner and residents will be informed of the same in advance.

“However, I can assure you one thing that as we ease the lockdown, which will happen in a calibrated manner, we will be informing in advance that two days down the line this will open, then further two days down the line that will open. So that people get the time to prepare, there is no panic moving out,” Mehta had said.

Inter-district movement however, may not be allowed as it may lead to cross infection.

Maharashtra on Thursday reported 2598 new covid-19 cases, taking the state’s tally of coronavirus positive cases to 59546. Active cases however, are at 38939 and total deaths at 1982.

Of the total cases Mumbai’s tally was at 35485. Active cases in Mumbai are at 25694. The city’s death toll stood at 1135.

Recovery rate in the state is at 31.26% and mortality rate at 3.32%. BMC wants to bring down the mortality rate of 3%.

“For public transportation, we are looking to start the local train services in two shifts, say in the morning and evening, to ease transportation for frontline workers, small shop owners, hospital staff and all kinds of essential service/goods providers,” said the second BMC official quoted above.

While places such as clubs, gymnasiums, swimming pools, playgrounds will take time to open, BMC may consider opening schools and colleges after 15 June, based on how the covid-19 situation develops in Mumbai.

However, Maharashtra may take over a month to completely exit the lockdown. “If the curve begins to flatten, the lockdown easing phase two may see opening of schools and by July, we could open all services,” a senior BMC official told Mint, requesting anonymity.