The Maharashtra government has strengthened lockdown restrictions in an attempt to prevent the spread of the new Delta Plus type and a deadly third wave. The administration initiated the action after 21 cases of the new Delta Plus variety were discovered, and infection rates and mortality in the state began to rise.
So far, one death has been linked to the new Delta Plus variety in the Ratnagiri area, involving an 80-year-old woman with comorbidities. Both the state and federal administrations have labelled the new lineage as a “variant of concern.” The state government’s “break the chain” guidelines have imposed the tighter level-three restrictions out of a five-level unlock plan until further notice. The government has stated that it will base future lockdown limitations on the results of RT-PCR tests rather than less accurate quick antigen tests.
Authorities have warned that if people do not follow “Covid-appropriate” behaviour, a third Covid-19 wave might hit the state in the coming weeks. Even while little is known about whether the new variety is more virulent, the state government determined it couldn’t afford to take any chances and tightened the lockdown. “We are being a little cautious. We know from past experience that these things have a way of being an unpleasant surprise,” a state government official said. On weekdays, ordinary stores and establishments can stay open until 4 p.m. Even with the tougher restrictions, eateries can operate at 50% capacity until 4 p.m. on weekdays and provide takeout and home deliveries outside of those hours.
The Maharashtra government stated that comprehensive testing was undertaken in many districts and that the results of the genome sequencing tests were transmitted to the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology. Maharashtra has been following a rigorous five-level lockdown plan that it had stated on June 5 until Friday.