Police personnel ask people to vacate the Juhu beach, amid restrictions imposed due to rising COVID-19 cases in Mumbai on Sunday. (ANI)
Mah Govt revises restrictions for beauty salons and gyms
THE Maharashtra Government will gradually bring curbs at places of worship and other sites, including liquor vends, that attract crowds to control the coronavirus pandemic, State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Sunday, a day after the State decided to tighten restrictions in the face of surging COVID-19 cases. Speaking to reporters in Jalna, the Minister said that the restrictions imposed by the Government a day earlier were in the interest of the people. “Curbs in crowded areas like liquor shops and places of worship will be imposed as well,” he said. On Sunday, the State Government revised the COVID-19-related restrictions for gyms and beauty salons, allowing them to operate at 50 per cent capacity from January 10 midnight. The revised order grouped beauty salons with hair cutting salons. On Saturday, the Government had said gyms and beauty salons will remain closed, while hair cutting salons will function at 50 per cent capacity. As per the revised order, only those activities that do not require removal of the mask by anyone shall be allowed. Only fully vaccinated people shall be allowed to use these services and all staff engaged in operation shall be fully vaccinated, it said. Gyms will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity subject to the use of masks while performing any activity, the order said.
The State Government had on Saturday announced that schools and colleges will be closed till February 15 except for activities required to be undertaken for class 10 and 12 students and administrative activities of teachers. The Government had also decided to cap the attendance at marriages and social, religious, cultural or political gatherings at 50. At funerals, not more than 20 people can remain present, said the circular. The medical oxygen demand in Maharashtra for COVID-19 and other patients went up from 270 metric tonnes to 350 metric tonnes recently, though this is just a fraction of the 1700-2000 MT required when the pandemic was peaking during earlier periods, State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Sunday. While the number of fresh cases was doubling every two to the three days, due to which a fresh set of restrictions had to be announced Statewide on January 8, the oxygen demand and hospital bed occupancy were low, he informed. “The need for oxygen has gone up bit it is nominal. It has increased for COVID-19 and non-COVID patients from 270 metric tonnes to 350 metric tonnes. During the earlier periods, the demand was as high as 1700-2000 metric tonnes,” the Minister told reporters in Jalna.
On Saturday, when the State reported over 41,000 new COVID-19 cases, the State Government decided to prohibit movement in public in groups of five or more from 5 in the morning to 11 at night. Further, no movement will be allowed in public from 11 pm to 5 am except for essential services, a Government circular had said. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said that his Government wanted to prevent health services from coming under excessive pressure. Maharashtra’s infection tally stood at 68,75,656 as of Saturday and the death toll at 1,41, 627, leaving the state with 1,73,238 active cases, as per the State Health Department.