MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Sunday announced new restrictions including a night curfew in the state and a “strict lockdown” over the weekends from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 pm amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, reports NDTV.
The rules, which come into effect tomorrow, include a curfew from 8 pm to 7 am; a ban on gatherings of five or more throughout the day; malls, restaurants and bars will be closed; home delivery and essential services will be allowed.Industrial operations and construction activity will be allowed. Rules to control crowding in vegetable markets will be introduced.
Film shoots will be allowed without crowds but theatres will be closed.
Everything except essential services will be closed on weekends.
There will be no new restrictions on traffic but public transport will run at 50 per cent capacity.
The decisions came after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray led a cabinet meet to discuss the situation on Sunday, two days after he said he could not rule out a second lockdown to combat the spike in coronavirus cases in the state.
Maharashtra reported nearly 50,000 new cases on Saturday - around 60 per cent of all cases reported from across the country on that day. On Friday the state reported around 48,000 cases.State capital Mumbai reported over 9,000 cases on Saturday - the most in a day since the pandemic began in December 2019. On Friday the city reported over 8,800 new cases.
Pune, one of the biggest cities in the state, has also reported alarming figures; on Friday the district administration ordered a 12-hour night curfew and the shutting down of shopping malls, religious places, and hotels and bars for a week, as well as that of public buses.
According to the centre, eight of the top 10 worst-affected districts in India are from Maharashtra.
Following a high-level meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office said central teams comprising public health specialists and clinicians will be sent to Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh because of the high number of cases and disproportionate number of deaths.
Maharashtra has contributed 57 per cent of the total cases and 47 per cent of the deaths in the country in the country over the last 14 days and the state’s medical infrastructure - tested by earlier waves of infections - is under more pressure.