Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: In a U-turn, the Maharashtra government on Thursday evening clarified that the COVID-19 restrictions have not been relaxed or lifted anywhere in the state as announced by minister Vijay Wadettiwar. In a statement, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) clarified that relaxation of restrictions as per the situation in different areas is only under consideration and no decision has been taken.

"The coronavirus spread is serious in some rural areas....The curbs have not been completely lifted in the state," the CMO statement said.

The CMO statement said that the Disaster Management department has decided five levels of severity of the pandemic based on the positivity rate and availability of oxygen beds. The degree of relaxation will be decided as per the level of severity and guidelines on whether to relax the curbs or further strengthen them will be announced soon, it added.

Earlier on Thursday, Maharashtra Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said a 5-level plan has been created by the state government to lift the restrictions in those districts and cities where COVID-19 cases have declined.

He had said that restrictions and other curbs will be completely lifted in 18 districts that have been categorised as Level 1. However, he said, restrictions will continue in other districts of the state.

However, after the CMO clarification, Wadettiwar said that "in principle approval was given to phased lifting of lockdown curbs on the basis of positivity rate and availability of oxygen beds", but no final decision was taken.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar were present at the meeting, he added. "No `unlock' is happening in the state. Even though in principle approval has been given, final decision will be taken by the chief minister," he said.

According to Union Health Ministry, Maharashtra has 2.07 lakh active COVID-19 cases while over 97,000 patients have succumbed to the infection. On the other hand, 54.86 lakh patients have recovered from the infection.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma