Slackening of store hours likely, other sectors will gradually reopen

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With the number of Covid-19 cases declining, the Maharashtra government plans to ease lockdown-like restrictions induced by Covid-19 in the state. The state is likely to make store hours more flexible.

It can also allow stores selling non-essential items to stay open for limited periods.

Currently, all stores selling products classified as “essential” are only allowed to remain open from 7:00 am to 11:00 am.

According to The Times of India, the government is working on a plan to allow the reopening of services and sectors from June 1 on a gradual basis. Officials said the relief may not be extended to all districts.

The state government is also likely to increase attendance at government offices. Currently, only 15% of employees are allowed in public offices. Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said the state government is considering relaxing some restrictions, but restrictions allowing commuters to take local trains and inter-district travel will continue for some time.

Maharashtra Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said Monday that the government was considering easing lockdown restrictions in districts outside the “red zone” after June 1, according to Reuters. He reportedly said that 15 districts (out of a total of 36) are in the “red zone”. “(heavy load) and the restrictions there could be made more stringent. Buldhana, Kolhapur, Ratnagiri, Sangli, Yavatmal, Amravati, Sindhdurg, Solapur, Akola, Satara, Washim, Beed, Gadchiroli, Ahmednagar and Osmanabad are the districts where coronavirus cases are still on the rise, the minister said.

Maharashtra recorded 22,122 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, bringing the state’s infection count beyond 56 lakhs to 56,02019, while 361 more deaths brought the toll to 89,212 , announced the health department. The recoveries outnumbered the new cases.

A health department statement said 42,320 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, bringing the number of recoveries to 51,82,592. The state’s recovery rate from Covid-19 is 92.51 %, while the case fatality rate is 1.59%, the department said.

Maharashtra now finds itself with 3,580 active cases, he said. As many as 2,637,774 people have been tested for the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the number of tests done so far in the state to 3,332,774,290, the department said.

Mumbai has recorded 1,049 new cases of Ccovid-19 and 48 deaths, bringing its number to 6,979,559 and the toll to 14,613. In the larger division of Mumbai, comprising the city and its satellite towns, there have been 2 713 new cases and 69 additional deaths. The number of cases in Mumbai Division rose to 15,11,376 and the death toll to 26,935, the department said.

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