Maharashtra extends lockdown till July 31 amid spike in Covid-19 cases

The Maharashtra government on Monday extended the coronavirus lockdown in the state till July 31 amid a steady rise in the coronavirus cases.

Mall, theatres, multiplexes, schools, colleges, gymnasiums, swimming pools will remain shut across the state. The essential services have been allowed across the state, while shops selling non-essential services are allowed with certain restrictions in red zones. Government and private offices are allowed to operate at 15 and 10% of their workforce. Non-essential services and intra district public transportation has been allowed in non-red zones.

It has also clarified that the permitted non-essential activities such as shopping and physical activities like jogging, running, cycling will be allowed only in the neighbourhood areas only. The relaxation given to travel is only to attend the offices in a prescribed number of employees and with the due precautions of social distancing and lockdown.

Maharashtra remains the worst-hit state by the Covid-19 pandemic with a tally of almost 1.6 lakh out of which more than 74,000 cases are in Mumbai. Ten major cities, including Mumbai, continue to be in red zones with strict restrictions in place. More than 7,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the state so far.

On Sunday, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray ruled out lifting the lockdown in the state as the risk of infection is not over.

“There will be a spike in cases owing to relaxations in lockdown curbs,” the chief minister had warned.

As part of its efforts to ease restrictions under fourth phase of its Mission Begin Again, the Maharashtra government on Sunday allowed barbershops, salons and beauty parlours to reopen after more than three months of shutdown.

West Bengal is another state where chief minister Mamata Banerjee has extended the lockdown till July 31 to contain the spread of Covid-19. In Assam, the government imposed a total lockdown in Guwahati for 14 days from June 28 in view of the rising coronavirus cases.

After four stints of nationwide lockdown, the Centre said lockdown will be in place only in containment zones till June 30 and began opening the economy in a three-phased plan called Unlock 1.

Delhi, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have also recorded huge spikes in the coronavirus cases, putting enormous strain on the states’ facilities.