State govt tightens Covid curbs

New Delta Plus variant's threat
State govt tightens Covid curbs

MUMBAI: The state government on Friday issued a new order regarding the level of restrictions due to the threat of new Delta Plus variant of Coronavirus. It has been decided to bring back some Covid-related restrictions in the state. Weekly positivity rate regarding levels of restrictions will be determined on the basis of RT-PCR tests, and not rapid antigen or other tests, the state government said and described Delta plus as a variant of concern.

Restrictions in administrative units will remain at a level not below 3, according to new guidelines issued as part of a government notification which also calls for pushing for 70 per cent vaccination of eligible population in the state. The move indicates tightening of restrictions to curb any surge in cases after some people were detected with the highly infectious Delta plus variant of Coronavirus. Delta plus has been declared a variant of concern by the Centre.

The notification amends the five-level unlock plan announced by the state government earlier this month. Delta plus cases have been found in Ratnagiri, Jalgaon and some other districts of the state, requiring stricter curbs, the notification said. State-level trigger means that irrespective of the weekly positivity rate and oxygen bed occupancy, level 3 restrictions will continue in administrative units till the district disaster management authority takes a call to withdraw them, according to the notification.

Essential shops and establishments can remain open till 4 pm on all days in areas falling under level 3 of the five-step unlock plan. Non-essential shops and establishments can remain open till 4 pm on weekdays, it said. Restaurants will be allowed dine-in facility with 50 per cent capacity till 4 pm on weekdays and takeaways and home deliveries after that, the notification said. Use of suburban trains will be only for medical staff and personnel engaged in essential services, it said. Gyms and salons will remain open till 4 pm at 50 per cent capacity, the government order said.

Level 3 curbs will be minimum and if they have to be lowered the disaster management authority will take a call, it said. If there is an upward trend in number of Coronavirus positive cases, the district disaster management authority will impose higher-level of restrictions, the order said. Attempts must be made to achieve 70 per cent vaccination of eligible population and focus should on test, track and treat methodology to contain the spread of COVID-19, it said.

The government order said flying squads will enforce COVID-19-appropriate behaviour among people and impose fines for violations. Tightening the Covid-19 curbs, the state government has that instead of a five-level unlock, which the government announced earlier, there will be three-level restrictions in all districts now. The state government also said that all administrative units will be under level 3 and above (4 or 5) until further orders, as per the new guidelines issued as part of a government notification, which also calls for pushing for 70% vaccination of eligible population in the state.

Level three restrictions

  • Non-essential shops and establishments can remain open till 4 pm on weekdays.

  • Essential shops and establishments can remain open till 4 pm on all days in areas falling under level 3 of the fivestep unlock plan.

  • Gyms and salons will remain open till 4 pm at 50% capacity.

  • Use of suburban trains will be only for medical staff and personnel engaged in essential services.

  • Restaurants will be allowed dinein facility with 50% capacity till 4 pm on weekdays and takeaways and home deliveries after that.

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