Amid growing concern over spread of coronavirus, Maharashtra government on Friday ordered closure of all workplaces in major cities, including Mumbai and Pune till March 31. Delhi government too announced closure of all malls in the national capital, but exempted pgrocery and pharmacy stores in them.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the shutdown will be applicable in Mumbai, Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur.
Government offices will operate at 25 per cent attendance, he said.
Maharashtra so far has 52 coronavirus positive cases, while one Covid-19 patients died in Mumbai this week.
Thackeray said maximum number of patients were from these cities and had travelled abroad.
In a televised address, Thackeray said only essential services will remain open which includefood, milk and medicines.
However, all financial institutions, including banks and stock markets will remain open.
The Chief Minister also ruled out shutting down public transport in Mumbai.
"The trains and buses are the city's lifeline and cannot be stopped. I have been advised to take this step. But doing this will affect movement of those working in places which provide essential services to the city, he said.
Meanwhile, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "In view of the prevailing situation, we are closing down all malls (except grocery, pharmacy and vegetable shops in them)".
An official in the CM's office said that the order comes into force with immediate effect.
According to the ICMA, the Covid-19 cases in India rose to 206 on Friday after 22 fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country.