National

Coronavirus | Maharashtra extends lockdown till July 31

Policemen seen stopping vehicles during a checking in Mumbai on June 29, 2020. Mumbai police has issued a guidelines that all vehicles that ply in areas away from home without valid reason would be impounded to avoid overcrowding in public places.

Policemen seen stopping vehicles during a checking in Mumbai on June 29, 2020. Mumbai police has issued a guidelines that all vehicles that ply in areas away from home without valid reason would be impounded to avoid overcrowding in public places.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

No new relaxations in urban areas as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

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.

Coronavirus, June 29 updates | State Helpline numbers for COVID-19

Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta issued the new guidelines a day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said he won’t 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 resume. 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.

Also read: Coronavirus | Maharashtra records highest surge

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. Long-distance travel to buy non-essential items will not be permitted.

In 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. Activities, which are not prohibited or banned, will continue with restrictions and there will be phase-wise opening of services.

Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India | e-Book on COVID-19 | State-wise tracker for coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates

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. The move led to long queues on the Western Express Highway on Monday. Mr. Thackeray said people should avoid crowding without any reason and it is unacceptable at a time when the State is fighting COVID-19. “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.

Full coverage: Lockdown displaces lakhs of migrants

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)

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 5:23:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-maharashtra-extends-lockdown-till-july-31/article31945327.ece

Next Story