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Maharashtra imposes stricter, uniform COVID-19 restrictions amid Delta Plus variant concerns

Saturday, June 26, 2021, 10:36 Hrs  [IST]

The Maharashtra government on June 25 issued new orders imposing uniform level three COVID-19 across the state irrespective of the positivity count and oxygen bed requirement. The additional restrictions were imposed after the Delta Plus variant of SARS-CoV-2 was detected in seven districts of the state. The Maharashtra government order read: “Given that the virus causing COVID-19 is undergoing mutations in various geographies and that these mutations are displaying more transmissibility and potential reductions in monoclonal antibody response, a state-level trigger mandating all the administrative units -- irrespective of values of the indices of weekly positivity rate and oxygen bed occupancy percentage -- to remain at a level not below three is to be in operation till withdrawn by specific order of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).” Citing Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG)’s warning, designating the Delta Plus strain a Variant of Concern based on the following characteristics: Increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells, and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response, the Maharashtra government has allowed the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) to impose stricter restrictions in districts as and when deemed fit. As of now, under level three restrictions, establishments dealing in essentials will be allowed to function till 4 pm on all days. The same would apply to establishments selling non-essential items. Malls, theatres, and multiplexes will remain closed, and restaurants will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity till 4 pm. After that, only takeaway and parcel services will be allowed.

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