No Lockdown in Maharashtra. Curfew Every Weekend From Friday Night to Monday Morning: Sources
The Maharashtra Cabinet has decided against imposing a full lockdown in the state, sources told CNN-News18. 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.
Among these, the most prominent is going to be a complete lockdown on weekends which will remain in place from 9 pm on Friday to Monday morning at 7 am. The strict rules will remain in place till April 30.
Additionally, the 8 pm – 7 am night curfew implemented by the state government last month will remain in force and authorities have been asked to enforce it strictly, state minister Aslam Shaikh said after the cabinet meeting.
Only essential services will be permitted during curfew. Restaurants will be allowed to function only for take away services. For offices, employees will have to work from home. A detailed SOP will be released soon, Shaikh said.
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.