Non-vaccinated staff allowed mandatory rapid antigen tests

Maharashtra issues clarification FAQ on restriction orders

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | April 10, 2021 | Mumbai


#Covid-19   #Novel Coronavirus   #healthcare   #health ministry   #testing   #recovery   #Maharashtra   #second wave   #vaccination  
(GN Photo, for representation only)
(GN Photo, for representation only)

Maharashtra has modified guidelines on restrictions imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19, and put out clarifications on do Do’s and Don’ts to be followed under its ‘Break the Chain’ orders.  

Starting Saturday, Rapid Antigen Tests are allowed for non-vaccinated staff of sectors including public and private transport, shootings for films, serials, advertisements, home delivery services, e-commerce staff conducting examinations, staff at marriage venues and funeral venues, food and eatery vendors, labourers, workers and staff in manufacturing sector, staff involved in permitted construction activity, RBI and any other sectors as against earlier mandated RT PCR negative tests valid for 15 days.

Single-window systems of government services like Aaple Sarkar Seva Kendra, CSC Centres, SETU Kendra and Passport Seva Kendra are allowed to remain open between 7 am and 8 pm on weekdays.

Magazines, journals and periodicals are included in ‘delivery of newspapers’.

Faced with a huge surge in infections in the second wave, surpassing the last year’s numbers, from last Sunday the state imposed movement restrictions except on essential services shops including medical and grocery  shops, and ordered all other shops, markets and shopping malls to remain closed till April 30.

Later it amended its order to include petrol pumps, government and private security services, all cargo services, data centres, cloud service providers, IT services supporting critical infrastructure and services and fruit vendors in the list of essential services.

On Friday, Aseem Gupta, principal secretary, Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation, issued clarification to frequently asked questions:

Can supermarkets or malls like D-Mart, Big Bazar and Reliance remain open?
Any establishment selling essential items as per the government orders dated 4th and 5th April can remain open between 7 am to 8 pm subject to strict adherence to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. If it is selling multiple items some of which do not fall under essential items that section may remain close.

During the weekend lockdown which services can remain open and which will remain closed?
All activities categorized under ‘essential services’ can remain open. No person can move without a valid reason, which includes reasons specified in the order as well as reason for requirement of performing an essential service.

Can the APMC market be kept open during weekend lockdown?
Yes, subject to strict adherence to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. If the local authorities feel that indiscipline in any APMC can lead to further transmission of the virus then they may close the same after seeking permission from the state government. It is expected that local authorities will keep a strict vigil over these.

Can shops providing construction materials remain open?
No.

Can garages servicing transport services remain open? Can shops of automotive spare parts remain closed?
Garages being incidental to requirement of transportation may remain open. Shops shall remain closed. Local authorities are to keep strict vigil on these and if any garage is found defaulting the Covid appropriate behaviour it may be closed till the operation of Covid-19 disaster notification remains in force.

Can employees of central government and PSUs be treated as essential service providers?
No. All employees of central government and PSUs cannot be treated as essential service provider. However central government/ PSU employees belonging to sectors categorized as essential services fall under ambit of essential service providers.

Can citizens buy liquor?
Yes. In accordance with the government order dated 4th April citizens can buy liquor from bars (on take away basis) or as home delivery from the bars as per the time window provided in the said order for restaurants and bars. This is subject to rules of the excise department.

Can Liquor shops remain open/do home delivery?
No.

Can roadside dhabas remain open?
Yes. But the rules applicable to restaurants apply. No seating, only takeaway/ delivery allowed.

Can electrical home appliance (AC, cooler, fridge etc.) repairing shops remain open?
No

Can telecommunication devices (desktops/laptops, mobile etc.) shops remain open?
No.

Can Aaple Sarkar Seva Kendra, SETU, SETU Kendra, CSC Centres, Pasport Seva Kendra which provide one-window system for various government services be treated under essential services?
Yes. They can remain open on weekdays between 7 AM to 8 PM.

Can restaurants supply home parcels post 8 pm and before 7 am and on weekend?
Restaurants and bars are functioning as per timings given by local authority with the constraint that there is no seating/ dining allowed. Parcels are allowed to be picked up from restaurants by customers themselves during weekdays from 7 am to 8 pm. No parcels can be picked up by the customer beyond these times and on weekends. However home deliveries through e-commerce are allowed beyond these times and on weekends subject to regular timings as decided by local authorities.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra is grappling with vaccine shortage. As per available reports 86 out of 120 vaccination centres in the city of Mumbai could not administer shots. Apologising to the citizens for causing inconvenience, BMC on Friday night issued a notification that “no vaccination will take place at any private centre on April 10, 11 and 12. Vaccination will take place only at government and municipal hospitals on April 10 between 12 pm to 6 pm and on April 11 between 10 am to 5 pm. Eligible citizens can travel to vaccination centres during curfew on medical grounds.” The civic body has said that as soon as the stocks arrive private centres will start administering doses.   

State health minister Rajesh Tope and relief and rehabilitation minister Vijay Wadettiwar have hinted at a strong possibility of a 2-3 week lockdown and to restrict movement of trains, curb crowding at public places and community spread. Tope said that such a step could be taken if hospitals are overwhelmed, medicines are in short supply and the government is not able to cope with increasing numbers of patients.

 

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