Mumbai: As Maharashtra reels under a calamitous second wave of the coronavirus infection, the state government recently extended its lockdown like restrictions till June 1. Apart from extending the restrictions, the MVA government led by Uddhav Thackeray also imposed stringent rules for those travelling to Maharashtra from other states. Commuters travelling to Maharashtra will now require to hold an RT-PCR negative test report.
The extended travel restrictions in the state will remain in force till 1 June. According to the order issued by state Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, any commuter entering Maharashtra by any mode of transport will have to carry a negative RT-PCR test report. Also, the report will have to be issued within 48 hours before entry into the state.
Restrictions imposed on people arriving from ‘sensitive places’ have now been extended to everyone arriving in Maharashtra from other parts of the nation. In case of cargo carriers, only two people will be permitted in the vehicle. If carriers are originating from outside Maharashtra, they will be permitted with a negative RT-PCR test report issued 48 hours before entry into the state and will be valid for seven days, the order further read.
According to the advisory issued, passengers coming to Maharashtra via railways must carry a negative RT-PCR test report. However, if they fail to carry it, they will be checked at the destination.
The Maharashtra government has extended the lockdown-like curbs in the state till June 1.
The existing 'Break the Chain' lockdown order was in place till 7 am of May 15 (Saturday). However, state health minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday (May 12) had said that against the COVID-19 cases in multiple districts, the cabinet ministers in a meeting pronounced to extend the restrictions for further two weeks in the state. He further said that the state government is focusing on tracking, tracing and treating COVID-19 patients to restrict the outbreak.
Under the new orders, all government offices (centre, state, local administrative), except emergency services related to the COVID pandemic, will open with only 15 per cent capacity.
Restrictions will also be enforced on weddings and only 25 people will be able to attend the ceremony. Under the new guidelines, the wedding ceremony will have to be arranged in a single hall and should be completed in two hours as a single event. A hefty fine of Rs 50,000 will be enforced for violating the rules.
Meanwhile, the number of new COVID cases dropped in Maharashtra on Saturday but the fatalities jump passed the 80,000-mark, with a corresponding rise in the recovery rate, according to the state health department officials. Compared to 695 fatalities on Friday, the state's deaths gone up by 265 to touch 960 on Saturday, increasing Maharashtra's overall death tally to 80,512, the worst in the country.
The number of fresh cases remained below the 50,000-mark at 34,848, taking the state's overall total to 53,44,063. After two days, the state's death rate gone down from 1.05 per cent to 1.51 per cent now, though the number of active cases decreased from 519,254 on Friday to 494,032 on Saturday.
On the positive side, 59,073 recovered patients returned home, higher than the number of fresh cases, taking the total number of recoveries to 47,67,053, while the recovery rate further enhanced to 89.02 per cent now.