On the verge of a much-wanted relief from a deadly second COVID wave, Maharashtra on Friday (June 4) started a five-level unlock plan based on the positivity rate and occupancy of oxygen beds in each district. The plan will unfold after district and civic authorities issue orders.
Districts falling in ‘Level 1’ will have the least restrictions, while those in ‘Level 5’ will have near lockdown-like curbs.
Malls, theatres and all shops can resume normal operations in Level 1 districts. In Level 2 districts, malls and theatres can operate at half capacity while in districts falling in Levels 3, 4 and 5, these can function with some restrictions. Mumbai falls under level 2.
On Thursday (June 3), Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar had said, “In Level 1, there are 18 districts which will see un-lockdown. While five districts will see Level 2 of relaxation, there are 10 districts in Level 3 and two in Level 4. The rest will be in Level 5.”
Level 1 will have Aurangabad, Bhandara, Buldhana, Chandrapur, Dhule, Gadchiroli, Gondia, Jalgaon, Jalna, Latur, Nagpur, Nanded, Nashik, Parbhani, Thane, Washim, Wardha and Yavatmal districts. Level 2 will have Ahmednagar, Amravati, Hingoli, Mumbai and Dhule. In Level 3, Akola, Beed, Palghar, Ratnagiri, Kolhapur, Osmanabad, Sangli, Satara, Sindhudurg and Solapur will fall. Pune and Raigad will open later.
A notification said the state public health department will assess the situation every Thursday and declare the occupancy of oxygen beds and positivity rate of the state and every district. The State Disaster Management Authority will disaggregate the parameters and which level of restrictions will apply in each district and administrative unit.
Cities like Mumbai and satellite towns, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Aurangabad, Solapur and Nagpur will be treated as administrative units. Officials said that 34 districts, apart from Mumbai and suburbs, will be treated as administrative units.
The orders were signed by Chief Secretary S J Kunte late Friday (June 4).
Manufacturing and other industries can resume operations in Level 1 and 2 areas without restrictions, and with some restrictions in the rest.
Private offices will be operational only for people belonging to the exempted categories and government offices can have 15 per cent attendance.