Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced a full lockdown beginning 8pm on April 14 to May 1, 2021 owing to the rising cases within the state through a press conference he held on Gudi Padwa- the Maharashtrian New Year.
Thackeray's announcement comes as Maharashtra continues to report close to 50% of the country's total case load. On April 13, the state reported 60,212 cases, the second highest so far.
For the next 15 days, only essential services will be operational between 7am- 8pm. Public transport will only be permissible for essential service users. Health workers, warehousing, consulates, groceries, e-commerce, accredited journalists, cargo, IT, banks, SEBI linked businesses, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies will be included as essential services.
Whether domestic help and drivers will be exempted from the section 144 imposed across the state has been left to the purview of the district authorities.
Along with the pre-existing restrictions, the government has added a few stricter rules. Shooting for movies and tv serials that was allowed earlier has now been shut down for the next two weeks.
Religious places, bars, salons, parlours, swimming pools, gyms, cinemas, parks, beaches will continue to remain shut within Maharashtra. Construction sites will only be allowed to function if the labourers have facilities to stay at the site itself.
Restaurants, street food vendors will only be permitted to give takeaways. Delivery persons will have to be vaccinated as soon as possible.
The number of people allowed for marriages have been reduced to 25 from 50. Several experts believe that the rise of cases in the city can also be attributed to relaxed norms for social circles.
Maharashtra Health Facilities
Maharashtra is running out of beds, oxygen, as well as Remdesivir, Thackeray said that he had asked Prime Minister Modi to help the state by allowing the state to get oxygen not only by road but even through air from other states. the State government plans to procure oxygen from neighbouring states. The state currently produces 1200 metric tonnes of oxygen daily of which close to 950-1000 metric tonnes is used for COVID-19 patients.
Similarly, Maharashtra needs close to 40,000-50,000 doses of Remdesivir daily and has asked the manufacturers to ramp up their productions.
The state has been vaccinating close to 4-5 lakh people daily and is the only state to cross 1 crore vaccinations.
Economic Relief Package
To ensure that people in the state do not suffer an economic meltdown, Thackeray also announced a ₹5400 relief package. Through the package the state intends to give its public distribution service beneficiaries 3kg of wheat and 2kg of rice for one month for free.
A ₹3300 crore package is in place to assist district officials with improving their existing health facilities for increasing beds, covid care centers, and even ambulances.
For the trader community, Thackeray intends to request PM Modi to extend the date of paying their GST dues by three months.
Close to 12 lakh rickshaw drivers will be helped with ₹1500 whereas the needs of the Adivasi community will also be met, announced Thackeray.
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