Other States

Schools, colleges, malls to be shut till March 31 in Maharashtra

No business:  The Carnival Mall in Pimpri Chinchwad wears a deserted look on Saturday after all malls and other establishments have been closed till March 31.

No business: The Carnival Mall in Pimpri Chinchwad wears a deserted look on Saturday after all malls and other establishments have been closed till March 31.

The Maharashtra government on Saturday announced closure of all schools, colleges, training institute, anganwadis in urban areas as the number of novel coronavirus cases rose to 26 in the State.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope said in the Assembly that new patients have been detected from across the State. Of the 26 cases, 10 are from Pune, five from Mumbai, four from Nagpur, two from Yavatmal, and one each from Panvel, Ahmednagar, Kalyan and Navi Mumbai.

Mr. Tope said, “All schools, colleges, training institute, anganwadis in urban areas will remain closed till March 31. All examinations, except that of Class X and XII, stand postponed. Private coaching classes have also been asked to shut down.” Malls too have been asked to close, except for grocery shops.

Instructions have been given to examination centres for Class X and Class XII to ensure that no unwell student comes in contact with others. “It will be the responsibility of the school and examination centre to monitor the health of students,” he said.

When someone mentioned the number of rumours being spread on social media, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said directions have been issued to take strict action against rumour mongering. “We have also directed the jail authorities to conduct medical check-up of prisoners and if needed, to keep them in isolation wards,” he announced.

Not taking any chances:  Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad (left) using a sanitizer at Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai on Saturday.

Not taking any chances: Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad (left) using a sanitizer at Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai on Saturday.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar appealed to the people to make sure crowded places are avoided. “Even in case of weddings, I appeal to both sides to limit the number of invitees. The administration has given clear instructions for various establishments to follow. In case anyone is found flouting it, strict action will be taken against concerned establishments,” he said.

Sudhir Mungantiwar (BJP) pointed out that the government resolution (GR) allowing MLAs to use their fund for publicity against novel coronavirus in their respective constituencies has not been issued to which Mr. Pawar said that 10% of the ₹3 crore MLA fund can be used.

Meanwhile, Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has written to Commissioner of Police Parambir Singh stating, “Some people are spreading false information on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter or other social media which can lead to panic among people. I request you to give instructions to take action against such people under National Disaster Management Act, 2005 immediately.”

Civic elections

Talking to journalists later, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Saturday that the government is in contact with State Election Commission to check the possibility of postponing the upcoming Navi Mumbai and Aurangabad Municipal Corporation polls.

“Due to ongoing restrictions on public gatherings and programs, we are considering recommending postponing the civic polls,” said Mr. Thackeray, adding that holding campaign, public rallies would be difficult.


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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 12:14:47 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/schools-colleges-malls-to-be-shut-till-march-31-in-maharashtra/article31071967.ece