Mumbai: On Sunday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced that Mumbai’s arterial suburban train network will open from August 15 to fully vaccinated people 14 days after their second dose, easing COVID-19 curbs while urging people not to let their guard down.
‘We are providing some relaxations now but if cases go up, we will have to resort to lockdown again. So I appeal to you to not invite another wave of Covid,’ Thackeray declared in a televised speech to the state. ‘Local trains in Mumbai will start from August 15 for those who have been vaccinated with both the shots. We will launch an app where people can update if they have taken both doses and when they took their second dose. People can take passes either from the app or from the offices,’ he said.
‘Passengers who do not have a smartphone can take photo passes from municipal ward offices in the city as well as suburban railway stations. These passes are for local travel which will have QR codes so that the railway administration can verify their authenticity. I urge you not to allow anyone to obtain passes illegally. Get fully vaccinated and travel,’ he added. ‘After a meeting of the Covid task force tomorrow, we will announce relaxations about malls, restaurants, and more,’ the Chief Minister said.
Currently, only essential service workers have access to the vast local train service. In April of this year, regular operations were halted during the devastating second wave of COVID-19.
Mr. Thackeray urged the public to follow precautions against coronavirus. ‘We all know that we have not yet fully recovered from the second wave. There is also the risk of a potential third wave. The central government has also repeatedly warned you about this,’ he said.
Maharashtra reported 5,508 new cases of COVID-19 – 553 fewer than yesterday – and 151 deaths in the last 24 hours.