Mumbai: It seems that our lockdown regrets will come to a final conclusion. People of Maharashtra can anticipate lifting of Covid-19 lockdown standards and reviving of all activities by November. “Maharashtra will be unlocked fully by November. We will have to live with coronavirus. The issue of lockdown is no more. Let’s hope that schools, religious places and gyms will be reopened in the state in phases, and the whole of Maharashtra will be unlocked by November. The corona vaccine has yet to be produced so we have to follow certain rules, regulations and protocols including face masks, sanitizers and public distancing which will be a new normal,’’ said Maharashtra’s Minister of Public Health Rajesh Tope.

Tope said the state government under the ‘Mission Begin Again’ has slowly relaxed lockdown standards permitting reviving of certain exercises. He said, “Commuters under certain categories are allowed to travel in suburban railways. It is expected the frequency of these services will be further increased. The intra state railway trains services will soon be launched.”

As per the Unlock 5.0 rules, there are no restrictions on oxygen production and transport whereas the frequency of suburban trains has been increased in Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Local trains in Pune division have been permitted to restart their administrations. The restaurants have revived with 50% capacity. However, schools, colleges, coaching classes, cinema theatres, educational institutions, and swimming pools continue to remain closed. 

Tope reviewed that the state government moreover proposes to cap the rates of N95 masks which are accessible in the showcase at Rs 150 to 200 against its production cost of Rs 12. He said, “The government is of the view that it should be sold as per the MRP at Rs 19. The department has already set up a committee to recommend on capping the rates of N95 masks.”

Meanwhile, Tope said the government will cap the rate of RT-PCR test in private laboratories at Rs 800 from the present level of Rs 1,200. He said, ‘’There are in all 500 laboratories comprising 400 government and 100 laboratories who conduct RT-PCR tests. These tests are free in government labs but private labs currently charge Rs 1,200 per test which will now be brought down to Rs 800 per patient. The government will soon issue notification about this.”