Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday announced a statewide curfew, saying that residents had not heeded the lockdown measures imposed in four districts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Mumbai Mirror reported. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which bans the gathering or more than four persons, has been imposed across the state, but huge traffic jams were reported at some check nakas in Mumbai.
“Today, I am compelled to announce a statewide curfew,” Thackeray said. “People were not listening and they were stepping out as if the virus threat had diminished. However, that is not the case. I am forced to say this because there are still those who have not understood the seriousness of what we face.”
Thackeray added that no persons are allowed inside temples, mosques or churches, except the priest who performs religious services. He said that in an autorickshaw, only a driver and one rider who is travelling for essential work will be allowed. In a taxi, a driver and two passengers will be allowed.
The chief minister also asked people not to panic. He said grocery stores, bakeries, medical stores and animal food stores will remain open.
At least 74 people have been confirmed to be infected in Maharashtra as of Sunday, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Two of them have died.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked residents to observe the lockdown in the city-state, PTI reported. In a video briefing, Kejriwal said the lockdown is for everyone’s benefit and it is important to ensure that the virus does not spread further.
Kejriwal also announced that 50% of Delhi Transport Corporation buses will be operational from Tuesday to ensure those involved in providing essential services do not face problems. He said on Day 1 of the lockdown, many people providing essential services reached late for work. “To ensure that they don’t face problems, we will increase the DTC bus services to 50% from Tuesday,” Kejriwal said.
Citing the examples of Italy and the United States, which have cases in the tens of thousands, the chief minister said strict action will be taken against those who violate the lockdown.
There have been 433 cases of Covid-19 in the country so far, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.