Maharashtra government extends lockdown till May 31; areas outside containment zones could see relaxations
While existing rules will continue, state aims to keep city cases under 50,000 by month-end, despite slight increase in doubling period
With one-third of the country's total novel Coronavirus cases, Maharashtra has extended the lockdown till May 31. The state will issue revised guidelines after studying those released by the Centre on Sunday evening. There could be relaxations outside of containment zones.
The fresh guidelines are expected to have some relaxations. "The calibrated phase-wise relaxation/lifting of lockdown orders will be notified in due course," said Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta's order.
Mumbai, where the tally of cases reached 20,150 on Sunday, is expected to be under strict lockdown but with certain relaxations beyond Containment Zones' perimeters. The doubling period of cases has increased in the city, but the civic authorities haven't denied the possibility of cases crossing the 50-60,000 mark by the end of the fourth lockdown.
A woman wears a mask while out for a walk at Pedder Road on Sunday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and NCP boss, Sharad Pawar, and state cabinet colleagues have demanded freedom to tweak the Centre's lockdown exit plan with regard to Maharashtra.
But the Centre is clear that it wants uniformity in exit measures. The Maharashtra government has also demanded a state-specific economic package. Congress ex-president Rahul Gandhi also raised a similar demand.
Sources in the government said that since Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised that the fourth lockdown would be different, the CM and chief secretary were expecting a more relaxed exit plan to help stimulate economic activities and also have a special emphasis on making the state's fight against COVID-19 more fruitful in places like Mumbai and other hotspots.
Date of first lockdown
Date when second lockdown period began
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