Maharashtra is planning a gradual unlocking beginning June 1 by enabling non-essential commodity shops and establishments to operate, albeit with timing constraints, and government offices to operate with more employees, as Covid-19 cases on the decline. The suburban train network, on the other hand, is unlikely to reopen for a few more weeks.
After 17,864 infections were registered on March 16, Maharashtra reported 22,122 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, the lowest single-day spike in 69 days. After 361 new deaths on Monday, the total number of people killed in the state has reached 5,602,019, with the death toll at 89,212.
The number of cases in the state has steadily decreased over the last three weeks, with the daily caseload dropping below 30,000 from about 55,000 three weeks ago. The number of active cases in the state fell to 348,395 on Sunday, down from 699,858 on April 22. On May 18, the daily growth rate fell to 0.69 percent, down from 1.45 percent on April 30.
As a result, there has been a growing demand for relief from the ongoing lockdown, which began on April 5 and is being phased out. The current lockout will last until 7 a.m. on June 1.
The government is debating easing the lockout gradually, and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray is expected to make a decision by the end of the week. Along with those in the critical sector, the state is required to enable establishments in the non-essential sector to operate for limited hours. The timing of operations for those in the critical sector is expected to increase as well.
An official from Mantralays said, “Industrial units, too, may get some relaxations, while the workforce in government offices is expected to go up from the current permission of 15%. However, establishments like restaurants, malls, multiplexes will continue to remain shut as they have been proved to be superspreaders in the past.”