Maharashtra to enter strict weekend lockdown: Malik

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], April 4 (ANI): Maharashtra will enter strict weekend lockdown from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 am, said state Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik adding that essential services and transportation including buses, trains and taxis will be allowed.

The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting today in view of surging COVID-19 cases, he told reporters here.

Malik said that government offices will operate with 50 per cent capacity and industries will continue to operate without any restrictions.

“A cabinet meeting took place today and some important decisions were taken related to COVID-19. Strict rules have been made and they will be enforced from 8 pm tomorrow. The night curfew will be in force from 8 pm to 7 am. during day time, section 144 will be in force from tomorrow prohibiting more than five people to gather at one place. A decision has been taken to shut down malls, restaurants, bars. Take away services will continue. Essential services will be allowed. Government offices will open with 50 per cent capacity. Industries will continue. There is no restriction on construction work, markets,” he said.

“A decision has also been taken to impose strict lockdown from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday in Maharashtra. The decision has been taken after consultations. The Chief Minister has spoken to the Leader of Opposition, MNS chief Raj Thackeray, people from hotels, industrialists, and filmmakers.

The Cabinet minister said there will be no restrictions on film shootings but theatres will be closed.

“Bars will close after 8 pm. On weekend, all things except essential services will remain closed but transport services will continue,” he said.

Addressing a press conference, Textiles, Port and Fisheries minister Aslam Shaikh said the state government has taken a decision to impose a night curfew to curb the virus spread.

“Coronavirus cases in Mumbai and Maharashtra are increasing. Several decisions have been taken in the meeting today. Night curfew will be put in place from 8 pm to 7 am. Only essential services will be permitted. Restaurants are permitted only for take away and parcel services. For offices, employees will have to work from home. The detailed SOP will be released soon. Theatres will be closed,” Shaikh said.

“We have not stopped transportation in Maharashtra. There will be total restrictions at night and only essential services will be allowed. Transportation will permit passengers to travel based on their sitting capacity. Rickshaw, Taxi and personal vehicles will commute with 50 per cent sitting capacity during the day and they are not allowed during the night. Dine-in will not be allowed at eateries, restaurants and malls will also be closed,” he said.

Speaking further, Shaikh said: “This is not lockdown, we have made our restrictions strict. In the coming days, there is a possibility of a lockdown-like situation on Saturdays and Sundays. There will be a restriction on visiting open spaces including garden, beaches, Gateway of India and other places on Saturdays and Sundays.”Maharashtra reported 49,447 new COVID cases and 277 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department on Sunday.

As many as 37,821 people have recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours taking the total number of recoveries in the state to 24,95,315.

The active number of COVID cases in the state stands at 4,01,172. With the new deaths in the last 24 hours, the COVID death toll has mounted to 55,656 in Maharashtra. (ANI)

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