As cases surge, Maharashtra extends lockdown till July 31

Marching on: A woman stands by the side of a road, as health workers arrive to conduct a medical camp in Mumbai.

Marching on: A woman stands by the side of a road, as health workers arrive to conduct a medical camp in Mumbai.   | Photo Credit: AP

Fresh guidelines issued; no new relaxations in urban areas

The Maharashtra government on Monday extended its lockdown till July 31, without providing any further relaxations in urban areas amid mounting cases of COVID-19 in the State.

Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta issued the new guidelines a day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said he would not be lifting restrictions after June 30. According to the new rules, private offices can operate with up to 10% staff strength or 10 people, whichever is more. For State government employees, the ratio is 15% or 15 people, whichever is higher. The State government suggested that work from home be followed as far as possible. The order said wearing face covers or masks, maintaining physical distancing, restricted gatherings, and other measures shall continue to prevail in the State.

No new loosening of curbs has been announced and relaxations granted earlier under Mission Begin Again will remain. All essential and non-essential shops will function as per relaxations issued on May 31 and June 4, and can be “in operation as per the policy of respective municipal corporation”. There will be specific restrictions in urban areas, especially under municipal corporations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), and cities such as Pune, Nagpur, Solapur, Aurangabad, Malegaon, Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Akola and Amravati.

No inter-district travel

The order clearly prohibited inter-district movement of people as well as long-distance travelling without any emergency. Inter-district movement of people in the MMR (Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi, Mira-Bhayander, Vasai-Virar, Ambernath, Badlapur) will be permitted only for essential activities and attending office. In the rest of the State, intra-district bus services will be allowed to run with 50% capacity, while inter-district movement will continue to be regulated.

All non-essential markets, market areas and shops, except malls and market complexes, will remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the order said. Liquor shops will continue to operate and provide home delivery wherever permitted. E-commerce activities for essential and non-essential items, including home delivery services, will continue. All industrial units that are now open can continue to operate.

Also, work at all public and private construction sites, which have already commenced, can continue, the order said. Schools, colleges, coaching centres and shopping malls , among other establishments, have been closed since late March.

CM backs police

Meanwhile, Mr. Thackeray came out in support of the Mumbai police, which have prohibited people from moving beyond a 2-km radius of their house for non-essential work.

Mr. Thackeray said people should avoid crowding without reason.

“We have brought the pandemic under control, but such behaviour will lead to bigger challenges. The only intention of prohibiting travel beyond a 2-km radius of homes is to stop unnecessary travel,” said Mr. Thackeray.

The Chief Minister said it is important for every citizen to realise that it is their responsibility to defeat the pandemic. “Nobody will be stopped if they are going out for essential activities. Essential items can be purchased in their own locality. Physical activities can be done in an open space or playground nearby. But if you are going out for no reason, just to roam around and jam the traffic, then you are going to increase the threat to yourself and others,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 8:41:17 PM |

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