Mumbai, August 13: Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, requesting him to reopen gyms in the state. His letter reads, "If you've opened liquor shops, why not allow gyms. Improving the state's financial condition is important but health is more important in these times." Unlock 3: Health Ministry Issues Guidelines and SOPs for Reopening Yoga Institutes and Gyms.

In May, the Maharashtra government had allowed reopening of shops selling non-essential items, including liquor shops, in non-containment zones. Amid rising COVID-19 cases, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has extended COVID-19 lockdown till August 31. But it allowed the opening of outdoor non-team sports like an outdoor firing range, golf courses, outdoor badminton, outdoor gymnastics and malkhamb from August 5.

ANI Tweet:

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had allowed reopening of gymnasiums and yoga institutes from August 5 under the third phase of unlocking the coronavirus lockdown. As per the guidelines, gyms and yoga institutes located in containment zones shall not be allowed to open.

The government also directed elderly people above the age of 65 years, children below the age of 10 years and people with co-morbidities to not use yoga institutes or gyms in closed spaces.

Meanwhile, according to the Maharashtra health department, the state has reported 11,813 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total tally to 5,60,126. The death toll has risen to 19,063. In Mumbai alone, 1,27,571 positive cases have been reported.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 13, 2020 11:40 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website