Making the intentions of the state clear, state home minister Anil Deshmukh said there would be a review after a fortnight.
The Union home ministry on Saturday told states to ensure unhindered movement between and within states in accordance with the ‘Unlock 3’ guidelines issued by it on July 29 and applicable countrywide till August 31. Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla in the letter said that continuing with restrictions amounted to a violation of the MHA guidelines and it was impacting supply chains, resulting in a disruption of economic activity and employment.
Deshmukh said he spoke to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, and it was decided that the current restrictions should continue in the state.
“In our situation, we cannot allow such free movement as the state is already leading in Covid-19 cases,” he said. “There is a considerable rise in the rural areas, and unless there are restrictions on free movement, there may be a further increase.”
A state gover nment official said the state the state is likely to take a decision only after the Ganpati festival.
“The movement in the festive season will be huge (if restrictions are lifted) and smaller cities or villages may not be able to handle the surge in cases if infection spreads,” the official said.
Dy CM Pawar, who was in Pune, said the Centre issued guidelines keeping in mind the situation in the country while the state had to evaluate its situation independently before taking a decision.