Mumbai: On Sunday, the Coronavirus pandemic claimed 222 lives in Maharashtra. Whereas, the number of new cases crossed 57,000 in the state. Given the rampant spread of the pandemic, the state government has initiated steps towards stringent restrictions. Accordingly, not more than four people can be assembled during the day; a night curfew after 8 pm has been imposed. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope gave this information after the cabinet meeting. The Health Minister suggested that the private sector companies should once again start the work from home system. The government offices will also be operated at 50% capacity; the Health Minister added that lockdown would be effective on Saturdays and Sundays.
A meeting of the state cabinet was held on Sunday. Since the last two days, queries were being raised whether lockdown will be imposed in the state. The Coronavirus pandemic is not being contained and instead is spreading rapidly. As per some people, there is no other alternative but to impose a lockdown in this scenario. But others are warning that this will again affect many people’s bread and butter in the state. The state government was being advised to impose stringent regulations instead and try and control the pandemic. All eyes were focused on the decision taken in this situation.
Against this background, Health Minister Rajesh Tope informed the media regarding the discussions and decisions made in the cabinet meeting. The Health Minister said that restriction on gathering more than four people during the day and a night curfew was imposed. Health Minister Tope made an important announcement that Malls, Restaurants and Bars have been ordered shut. But the restaurants have been allowed to provide takeaway service. Theatres, salons and Gymnasiums also will remain closed. A temporary ban has been imposed on political functions and rallies. But industries will be kept running taking proper precautions. The construction activities in the state will also continue.
Rajesh Tope said that Vegetable and other markets would not be closed, but attention will be paid that there is no crowding. The suggestion has been made to the TV serial and movie companies to operate with a minimum crew. Restrictions will be in place on the railway, bus, taxis and rickshaws. The number of passengers will be restricted to the number of seats in buses and local trains, whereas only two passengers will be allowed in taxis and autorickshaws.
A fine of ₹500 will be imposed in case of violation of any of these regulations. Any housing society with more than five active cases will be declared a containment zone. The Health Minister clarified that although there is a night curfew, essential services will be operating. Rajesh Tope clarified that everything except the essential services should be closed during the lockdown on Saturday and Sunday.