While the Maharashtra government may consider easing some curbs, the current lockdown-like restrictions are to remain in force after May 31, informed State Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday.
Following a meeting of the state cabinet in which the pandemic situation in the State was reviewed, Mr. Tope informed that a decision on what restrictions were to be eased would be taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after he had conferred with the State COVID-19 task force members and other officials of the Health Department.
While observing that Maharashtra’s active case tally had reduced by 50% over the last one month, Mr. Tope stressed there were no plans to relax the lockdown in a major way as yet as the case positivity rate was still high in 21 districts of the State.
“A significant reduction in cases in some districts has been offset by a spike in cases in other districts of the State…so, while there is discussion regarding easing restrictions in some parts of the State, the general lockdown will remain in force after the month’s end. The Chief Minister, in consultation with task force members over the next few days, will take a final call on what curbs are to be be lifted,” Mr. Tope informed.
The State’s active case tally has come down from nearly seven lakh a month ago to 3.15 lakh. With Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Nagpur – former virus hotbeds – showing a notable decline in cases and fatalities, the Health Minister, along with other State government leaders had hinted at easing of regulations in districts which did not fall under the afflicted ‘red zones’.
Mr. Tope also informed that the State government had constituted a 14-member paediatric task force under noted paediatrician Dr. Suhas Prabhu in anticipation of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic which is speculated to affect more children.