Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced night curfew across the state from March 28. The decision was taken in a high-level meeting with senior state government officials on Friday amid explosive rise in coronavirus cases in the state. Several districts of the Maharashtra already have placed certain restrictions to curb the fresh surge in COVID-19 cases.
Under the new restrictions, night movement is allowed, but gathering in public places has been prohibited. Malls shall remain closed between 8 PM and 7 AM. All social, political and cultural programmes will have to follow COVID-19 protocols.
"Don't want to impose lockdown but looking at the rising number of cases it seems that the present health infrastructure may fall short. Districts are advised to look into the avilibility of beds, health facilities, etc," said CM Thackeray.
A separate order in this regard will be issued soon by Disaster Management and Rehabilitation Department.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra government also issued COVID-19-related guidelines for celebrating Holi, Good Friday and Easter. The state government stated that people should celebrate Holi in a simple manner and avoid crowding.
Holi will be celebreated in the state on March 28 and Rang Panchami a day later. Noting that the state's Konkan region has a tradition of carrying a 'palkhi' or palanquin in a procession on Holi, the state government said this should be confined to temples and asked the local administration to do the needful.
Maharashtra government also urged the Christian community in the state to observe Good Friday on April 2 and Easter Sunday on April 4 in a simple manner considering the rampant spread of coronavirus.
As per the government directions, if a church is spacious, maximum of 50 persons should attend the prayer meet there during the holy week from March 28 to April 4. If the church is smaller in size, then a special prayer meet should be held in the presence of 10-25 persons. Four to five special masses may be organised depending on the need, the government further said.
Earlier today, fresh restrictions were imposed in the Palghar district considering the rise of coronavirus cases. District administration on Friday ordered wedding venues, lawns and ceremonial halls to be shut from April 15.