The Maharashtra government is considering granting exemptions from coronavirus -induced restrictions to the fully-vaccinated people, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Pawar also said the government was mulling an extension of the timings of shops and restaurants from the current deadline of 4 p.m. He said a decision on granting relaxations on the weekends is likely next week.
“The State is thinking of granting relaxations to those people who have got both doses of COVID-19 vaccine. This will encourage citizens to get inoculated,” he said.
Mr. Pawar said demands are raised to extend the timings of shops and restaurants from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“We are thinking of extending the timing for shops and restaurants but the final decision will be taken by the CM. We are meeting with experts on Monday after which a decision will be taken on relaxations on weekends,” the deputy CM said.
He said the government was aiming to vaccinate more people compared to the previous month.
Mr. Pawar said the State government was taking various measures such as augmenting the medical infrastructure anticipating a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
“There are reports about the possibility of a third wave. Based on reports of the high occupancy of beds in hospitals, oxygen beds, ventilator beds and the demand for medical oxygen and other facilities in the first and second waves, we are preparing to brace for a possible third wave of the pandemic in the Pune district,” he said.
Maharashtra on Friday reported 6,753 new COVID-19 cases and 167 fresh fatalities, taking the infection tally to 62,51,810 and the death toll to 1,31,205, as per the Health Department.