The Maharashtra government on Monday extended the lockdown in the state till July 31, amid a rising number of coronavirus cases.

The state reported 5,493 cases and 156 deaths, taking its overall number up to 1,64,626, and the toll to 7,429 – by far the highest numbers for any state in the country, according to the Union health ministry’s Monday morning update.

The Maharashtra government said in its order that unrestricted movement of people and vehicles will be allowed only for attending offices and for medical reasons, NDTV reported. On Sunday, the Mumbai Police had asked people not to travel beyond a two km radius from their homes. It had said that vehicles which travel beyond this radius for non-essential activities will be impounded.

“It is further directed that the movement of persons for the purposes of non-essential activities like shopping and the outdoor exercises, shall be restricted within the neighbourhood area limits with all necessary prescribed mandatory precautions of wearing masks, social distancing and personal hygiene,” the order read.

The order said that all government offices, excluding those providing essential services, can operate at only 15% capacity or with 15 people, whichever is higher. Private offices can work only at 10% capacity or with 10 people, whichever is higher – a condition that remains unchanged from the relaxations announced under “Mission Begin Again” last month.

All shops and e-commerce activity for essential and non-essential items, all industrial units that are presently operational and home delivery of food will continue to be permitted as under the old rules. The services of self-employed persons like plumbers, electricians, pest control, garages, printing and distribution of newspapers and barbers will continue to be permitted too.

On Sunday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the state government will not lift the lockdown imposed to combat the coronavirus after June 30. However, he added that restrictions will continue to be eased slowly, and asked people to follow rules.

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