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Weekend lockdown, night curfew in Maharashtra as Covid-19 cases surge

Stricter curbs from Monday; Mumbai civic authorities brace for 10,000 daily cases from next week as available beds in hospitals dry up. The city reported 9,108 cases on Sunday

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Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Sohini Das & Aneesh Phadnis  |  Mumbai 

Covid
Health workers take a break after collecting samples from passengers for COVID-19 test, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj terminus in Mumbai. (PTI)

The government on Sunday decided to impose complete lockdown on weekends and a night curfew in the state to control the spread of the novel

The curbs will come into effect from Monday night. They were announced as Mumbai recorded over 11,000 Covid cases. The state recorded over 57,000 cases on Sunday — the highest so far.

Malls and multiplexes will remain shut and all private offices, except those engaged in finance, insurance, banks, telecommunications, and essential services, will have to work from home. Attendance in government offices will be capped at 50 per cent.

Curfew will be in place during night, and prohibitory orders issued under Section 144 will be in force during the day, said Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik. There will be a ban on gatherings over five people during the day. Essential services have been exempted from the night curfew, he said.

Public transport will continue to operate, albeit at 50 per cent capacity. Rickshaws, taxicabs, and even personal vehicles will carry passengers at half their seating capacity.

From Monday, shopping malls, bars, and restaurants will be closed. Only takeaways and parcel service will be allowed.

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E-commerce services will be permitted, but delivery personnel will have to be vaccinated. Else the individual and the establishment could face Rs 1,000 and Rs 10,000 fine, respectively, said a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office.

The new restrictions termed ‘Mission Break the Chain’ were announced, following a Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

During the weekend, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held consultations with political leaders and representatives of India Inc, including Uday Kotak of Kotak Mahindra; Ajay Piramal, chief of Piramal Group; Sajjan Jindal, head of JSW Steel; Harsh Goenka, chairman, RPG; Baba Kalyani, managing director, Bharat Forge; Niranjan Hiranandani of Hiranandani Group, among others. Actor Boman Irani, too, was part of the meeting with industry titans.

Manufacturing units will continue functioning, but the state has advised manufacturers to limit the number of workers on the shop-floor. Also, units have been asked to arrange housing for workers at the plant wherever possible.

A sharp spike in cases has put a strain on hospitals. While civic bodies are increasing the number of beds, it is feared these would get overwhelmed, given the fast spread of infection.


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First Published: Sun, April 04 2021. 20:04 IST
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