Maharashtra, which has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in India, has not allowed easing of any restrictions in the third phase of the two-week lockdown that starts on Monday. The state government has issued revised norms to be applicable after May 3, for residents as well as to those in other municipal corporations of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and the corporations of Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, and Malegaon.
There are 14 districts in Maharashtra which are red zones, including Greater Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, and Nashik. 16 districts are orange zones, and six are in the safe green zone.
Of the 14 red zone districts, five are in the MMR, Pune, and Malegaon, where curbs have been tightened over the next two weeks. Nine other districts have been allowed some activities, but with restrictions.
Private offices will not be allowed to operate with 33% strength in these areas, a report in the Times of India cited state chief secretary Ajoy Mehta as saying.
Offices will not be permitted to open in Mumbai because it is a red zone, Mehta said. However, the state could consider reviewing the decision in a few days.
The norms set up by the central government on Friday fixed the framework for states while allowing them to increase restrictions, though no restrictions can be diluted.
Liquor shops too cannot open in the red zones in Maharashtra.
Only three people in one car would be allowed to travel. No pillion riders will be permitted on two-wheelers; industrial units in urban areas, only in the special economic zone (SEZ), Export Oriented Units (EOU), will be permitted excluding all municipal corporations within Mumbai, Malegaon, Pune, and Pimpri-Chinchwad. Construction activities in urban areas will be permitted only on the sites. No worker will be brought in from outside.
Meawnhile, chief secretary Ajoy Mehta has directed all state-run and private hospitals not to turn away patients without examining them under any circumstances.
Extreme care is to be taken before allowing movement from other hotspot areas such as Malegaon, Solapur, Akola, Amravati, Yavatmal, Aurangabad and Nagpur, the official order said.
It said that a certificate from a registered medical practitioner that the one intending to travel does not have influenza-like symptoms will be sufficient for the purpose and separate screening will not be required.
The nodal authority sending persons to other districts will inform its counterpart there and movement will begin only after acceptance letter of the receiving nodal authority is issued.
The system of e-pass currently in use by Maharashtra police will be made available for this purpose to the nodal authorities, and appropriate changes are being made in the system, the order said.Coronavirus: India's death rate lower than South Korea, China