The Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced stringent lockdown-like restrictions on public movement over the next 15 days across the state due to a sharp and continuous rise in coronavirus cases in the state.
According to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the "lockdown-like" restrictions, which exclude essential services, will come into effect from 8 pm on April 14 and remain in force till 7 am on May 1. The new norms entail stricter curbs on public activities to stem the infection spread and build on the existing weekend and night curfew in the state.
Thackeray's announcement of the new curbs came on a day when Maharashtra recorded 60,212 fresh coronavirus cases and 281 fatalities.
Here is what will remain open in Maharashtra for the next 15 days:
1. All essential services, including medical stores, hospitals, supply of medicines, among others will remain operational.
2. Home delivery of food, operation of e-commerce firms, work at construction sites with residential facility and industrial activities, where accommodation or transportation of personnel is available, will remain unaffected.
3. All banking and financial services, insurance offices, and pre-monsoon works will remain operational.
4. The state government allowed only takeaway services for roadside eateries. Buyers will not consume food on the street.
5. House-helps would be allowed to travel and work in the restriction period.
Here is what will remain close in Maharashtra for the next 15 days:
1. Saloons, spas, schools, colleges, private coaching classes, beaches, clubs, swimming pools, gyms, drama theatres, and cinema halls will remain close.
2. Films, TV serials, and advertisement shoots will also be halted in the state from Wednesday.
3. No religious, social, cultural, and political functions will be allowed in Maharashtra till May.
4. The state government has put a ban on the movement of people for non-essential works during the restriction period.
5. For political rallies during elections, not more than 200 people can attend an event or 50 per cent of the seating capacity of the hall.
6. The Maharashtra government has also put a cap on people attending marriage and funerals at 25 and 20, respectively.
Yesterday, CM Thackeray announced a package of Rs 5,476 crore for the poor whose earnings will be impacted due to the new "lockdown-like" restriction in the next 15 days. The Shiv Bhojan service of offering a meal at Rs 5 will be offered for free for the next 15 days. Similarly, under the Food Security Act, the registered beneficiaries will get 3 kg of wheat and 2 kg of rice for free for a month.
Additionally, the state government decided to allocate Rs 1,500 for 12 lakh registered construction workers and license-holding auto-rickshaw operators during the "restrictions" period. The registered hawkers will get Rs 2,500 during the same period, the Thackeray government added. Also, 12 lakh adivasi families will get Rs 2,000 for a month as financial assistance, Thackeray announced.