Maharashtra govt to extend lockdown by 15 days, will issue new guidelines on 1 June

Pune: The lockdown restrictions in Maharashtra on account of the coronavirus pandemic have been extended by 15 days but a fresh set of guidelines will be issued on 1 June, health minister Rajesh Tope said on Friday.

The state cabinet had taken the decision to extend the curbs on people's movement and businesses — in force since mid-April — in a meeting on Thursday.

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"As far as lockdown is concerned, 15 days' extension has been given, but the guidelines related to it will be issued on 1 June," Tope told reporters.

No relaxation will be given in the areas where the number of patients and positivity rate are still high and hospital bed availability is an issue, he said.

"But in the areas where the situation has improved, certain guidelines (easing the curbs) can be issued," he added. Asked if shops selling non-essential commodities will be allowed to open, he said all such decisions will be taken on 1 June.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said the restrictions will continue after 1 June, and will be relaxed later in a phased manner.

"In 10 to 15 districts, the positivity rate is still very high. Besides, there is threat of the black fungus infection (found in recovering/recovered coronavirus patients)," the chief minister had noted.