Maharashtra government has decided to impose night curfew and weekend lockdown across the state amid the incessant rise in coronavirus cases. The decision was taken during the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackery on Sunday.
Night curfew will be in effect across Maharashtra from 8 PM to 7 AM, informed Cabinet minister Nawab Malik. Only essential services will be allowed to operate during night curfew. Industrial activities and vegetable markets have been allowed to function in accordance to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), whereas construction work will be allowed in there is accommodation facility for workers.
Government offices have been asked to operate at 50 per cent capacity. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC will be in place during the day time.
Theatres, gardens and playgrounds will be shut. Film and television shootings will continue if there is no crowding. Religious places will also have to follow the SOP regarding latest curbs. Public transport will remain functional
Maharashtra will also observe weekend lockdown every week from Friday 8 PM onwards. Essential services have been exempted from night curfew.
"Apart from the weekend lockdown, strict restrictions will be in force from 8 pm tomorrow, under which shopping malls, bars, restaurants,small shops will be open only for take-aways and parcels. Government offices will be allowed to function only at 50 per cent of their capacity," Malik said.
Mumbai city guardian minister Aslam Shaikh said that work from home will be encouraged, except for insurance, mediclaim, electricity and civic offices.
Earlier today, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) its party workers to support the decisions taken by the government to tackle the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state. The statement came after CM Thackeray called up MNS chief Raj Thackeray and sought his cooperation if the government was compelled to impose a lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
Before the Cabinet meeting on Sunday, film and television producers met Thackeray and offered full support for measures being taken to control the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.
Maharashtra remains the state hardest hit coronavirus pandemic in India. The state recorded 11,349 new active cases in the 24 hours to 8 AM on April 4, taking the tally 4,02,552 cases. Meanwhile, 37,821 COVID-19 patients were discharged during this period; the total number of cured patients in the state stands at 24,95,315. Maharashtra saw 277 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 55,656.
(Edited by Vivek Punj)