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Maharashtra to begin five-level unlock process on Monday

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

The Maharashtra government has announced a detailed five-level plan to initiate the unlock process in the state as the Covid-19 situation improves.

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In a late-night announcement, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office has informed that relaxations will be implemented based on the positivity rate and occupancy of oxygenated beds in districts and cities.

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The new guidelines come into effect from Monday with the districts of the state divided into five levels based on weekly positivity rate and oxygen bed occupancies.

The first level, for districts with less than five per cent positivity rate and below 25 per cent oxygen bed occupancy will be allowed to unlock fully with no restrictions. There are 18 districts that come under the first level of unlock. All restaurants, malls, salons, movie theatres, shops can open in districts under level 1.

The second level is for districts with less than five per cent positivity and oxygen beds occupancy of 25 to 40 per cent. State capital Mumbai falls under this category. Film shoots will now be allowed to resume in the city.

Shops can reopen in districts under level 2, however, malls, restaurants, gymnasiums, salons have been allowed partial relaxations. Marriages and gatherings have also been allowed with 50 per cent capacity. Offices, too, can reopen with full capacity in districts under level 2.

Mumbai local trains, the densely populated city’s lifeline, will however not be operational for everyone. Only essential workers can take the trains. Buses in Mumbai will be allowed to operate at full capacity however passengers will not be allowed to travel standing up to avoid crowding the bus.

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Mumbai recorded a positivity rate of 5.56 per cent from May 28 to June 3, categorising the financial capital in the second level.

For “Level 3”, the areas will be required to have a positivity rate between 5% and 10% or oxygenated bed occupancy of more than 40%.

Further in “Level 4”, the positivity rate should be between 10% and 20% or oxygen bed occupancy of more than 60%. To be categories in “Level 5”, the strictest level, areas will be required to have a positivity rate of more than 20% or occupancy of oxygen beds should be more than 75%.

On Thursday evening, Maharashtra Relief and Rehabilitation minister Vijay Waddettiwar announced the unlock process in the state. But soon after the minister made these announcements, a clarification came from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office that no decision had been taken yet.

The Chief Minister’s Office had said restrictions in the state “have not been removed” and proposals for new rules are still under consideration.

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Maharashtra, the worst-hit state due to the deadly coronavirus, reported over 14,000 cases in the last 24 hours taking the total infections in the state to over 58 lakhs.

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