Maharashtra to lift COVID-19 restrictions cautiously

Amid some confusion, districts to be divided into five levels based on TPR and bed occupancy

The Maharashtra government on Thursday said that it has finalised a plan to unlock the State by dividing its districts into five levels based on the coronavirus test positivity rate (TPR) and occupancy of oxygen beds. The local administration will be submitting reports based on this to the State headquarters, following which directions on lifting restrictions and unlocking will be announced.

The announcement comes amid confusion after the State’s Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Vadettiwar held a press conference declaring 18 districts with a test positivity rate of less than 5% and oxygen bed occupancy of less than 25% to undergo a complete unlock.

The Chief Minister’s Office, however, intervened and issued a clarification saying no restrictions had been lifted. “The proposal for the same is being considered. We will be taking complete information from the district headquarters and local administrations. Only based on that final decision will be taken,” said the clarification.

Mr. Vadettiwar, who had left Mumbai for Nagpur after his press conference, said after reaching his destination that he had forgotten to mention there had been an “in principle approval” to the proposal and the Chief Minister would take the final decision.

As per the proposal, Level 5 regions were in the red zone. Level 1 includes areas with less than 5% positivity rate and less than 25% oxygen bed occupancy and Level 2 can have TPR below 5% and oxygen bed occupancy from 25-40%.

For Level 3, the TPR could be from 5-10% and oxygen bed occupancy 40-60%.

The TPR could be between 10-20% for Level 4 with, oxygen bed occupancy at 60-75%. Level 5 will be the areas that have TPR over 20% and oxygen bed occupancy over 75%.

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