The Maharashtra government on Thursday extended the lockdown-like restrictions in the state till 1 June to break the chain of Covid-19. In an order, Chief secretary Sitaram Kunte said the curbs will remain in force till 7am on 1 June.
As per the order, additional restrictions include mandatory negative RT-PCR test report for any person entering the state by any mode of transport. The test report will have to be issued within 48 hours before the time of entry into the state. All restrictions enforced as per earlier orders for people arriving from places of “sensitive origin” will be applicable to anyone arriving from any part of the country into the state, the order said.
This rule was earlier applicable only to travellers coming in from the states marked as “sensitive origin”; now the rule has been extended for people coming into the state from any part of the country.
“Milk collection, transport and processing may be allowed without restrictions, though its retail sale be allowed subject to restrictions imposed on shops dealing with essential items or through home delivery,” the government order said.
Looking at the positive effect of the lockdown-like curbs in reining in the raging pandemic, all ministers unanimously said the restrictions must be extended. It was pointed out that active cases had reached close to 7 lakh in the state, but are now down to 4.8 lakh, said Rajesh Tope after the meeting.
Meanwhile, traders’ associations strongly opposed the move, saying retail traders have lost business worth Rs 5,000 crore in the last 40 days. Viren Shah, president of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA), said they are staring at more losses now if they do not get any government package. Shah also claimed that e-tailers are violating the rule against delivering non-essentials and they will have to move court if the government doesn’t restrain these platforms.
However, the situation is still not in control, as the state is facing shortage of vaccine. Extension of lockdown is already facing criticism from political leaders and many unions. For now, the state government has given priority to people awaiting their second dose of vaccine.