The Maharashtra Cabinet has decided against imposing a full lockdown in the state. However, as cases soar beyond peak pandemic numbers and the situation in the state remains ‘grim’, several more curbs are likely to be put in place soon.
The state government has announced a weekend lockdown from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday. Apart from the weekend lockdown, strict restrictions will be in force from Monday 8 pm onwards, Minority Affairs Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik told reporters after the cabinet meeting.
Transportation will permit passengers to travel based on their sitting capacity. Rickshaw, Taxi & personal vehicles will commute with 50% sitting capacity: Maharashtra Minister Aslam Shaikh
He said that night curfew will continue and prohibitory orders issued under section 144 will be in force during the day time during the week. “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,” he said.
Industries and production sector, vegetable markets will function with Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) and construction sites will operate if there is an accommodation facility for workers, he added. Theatres, drama theatres will be shut, while film and television shootings will continue if there is no crowding.
Parks and playgrounds will also be closed, he said. Religious places will have to follow the SoPs, Malik said, adding that that public transport system will remain functional.
Mumbai city guardian minister Aslam Shaikh told reporters that work from home will be encouraged for offices, except for insurance, mediclaim, electricity and civic offices. Essential services have been exempted from the existing night curfew, he said.
Transportation services will permit passengers to travel based on their sitting capacity. Rickshaws, taxis and personal vehicles will commute with 50 per cent sitting capacity, he added.
The rules will remain in place till April 30.
| Curbs in a nutshell
- Except for essential services, everything else will stay shut from 8 pm to 7 am
- Theatres, drama theatres will be shut
- Parks and playgrounds will be closed
- Additional restrictions on public transport
- Rs 500 fine for not wearing masks
- WFH to be encouraged for private offices
- Govt offices will function at 50 per cent capacity
- No crowding during film shootings
- Vehicles to ply with only 50% sitting capacity
- Restrictions on bars and restaurants
- Religious places will have to follow strict Cpvid-19 rules
Maharashtra on Saturday reported nearly 50,000 fresh Covid-19 cases. The state, which is the biggest contributor to India’s overall tally, reported 49,447 cases in 24 hours along with 277 deaths. Mumbai also fared way worse than when it was at peak of the pandemic with 9,108 new cases; 5,778 cases were recorded in Pune – the worst-hit district in India – and 2,853 people tested positive in Nagpur.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is said to have spoken to Opposition leader and former CM Devendra Fadnavis seeking support in the implementation of the lockdown if need be, he also seemingly dialled MNS chief Raj Thackeray, sources said.
Fadnavis has offered ‘full support’ to the MVA government saying that ‘people’s lives are more important than politics’.
On Saturday, CM Thackeray held virtual meetings with owners of multiplexes, gyms and newspapers and appealed to them to join the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Sources said that gyms may be shut completely and malls and theatres are likely to face stricter curbs.
Some multiplex owners have reportedly offered theatre spaces for makeshift hospitals.