Maharashtra: Vaccination likely to be among criteria for providing relaxations, says Rajesh Tope | Mumbai News – Times of India

Outstation passengers crowd around for tests on arrival at Dadar

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government is likely to consider vaccination as one of the criteria for providing relaxations from Covid-19 curbs, apart from other parameters like positivity rate and oxygen bed occupancy.
State health minister Rajesh Tope said that fully vaccinated people who are following Covid-appropriate behaviour are less likely to be infected and transmit the infection. “There is a demand from fully vaccinated shopkeepers, traders and even individuals to relax restrictions for them, but rather than giving relaxations to individuals, a district-wise decision could be considered,” Tope said. He also said that the task force will make recommendations based on vaccinated population at the district levels, along with other Covid-19 indicators, and the state will “positively consider” the recommendations. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a video conferencing meet with the state on Friday, in which there will be experts from ICMR and virologists, and we will seek suggestions from them as well,” Tope said.
Senior officials said that there is pressure on the state to lift restrictions, and it is likely that the state government may consider bringing districts to Level 2, which allows for fewer restrictions. Currently, the state is at a minimal Level 3 and above. The state is also considering extending shop timings and timings of restaurants for dine-in. A decision is likely in the next few days.
Officials said it will be a while before local trains are opened for the general public again. However, if the level of restrictions is lowered, some more categories of people may be allowed on local trains. “Mumbai local trains are the lifeline of the city, and we are also hoping normalcy is achieved soon. But to start local trains for all, BMC’s suggestions, along with those of the task force, will also be considered,” Tope said.
He said that though daily detections in the state have plateaued at 7,000-9,000 cases for a month, the state is not happy with the plateau and wants numbers to dip further. “Despite the drop in cases, we are not reducing the number of tests. When considering positive cases per million of population, Maharashtra stands at the 10th spot. Kerala and many north-eastern states are above,” Tope said. In the meeting with the PM, the state will also be raising the issue of inadequate vaccines. It has sent a proposal to the Centre to hike vaccine stocks allocation.



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