The district administration in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat, which shares the border with neighbouring state Maharashtra, announced night curfew and other restrictions starting from Tuesday. The new measures will be in force till further orders.

On Tuesday, District Magistrate Deepak Arya issued an official order which mentioned that the curfew will be implemented from 10 pm to 6 am, during which people are not allowed to travel without “legitimate reasons”. The order further imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in the district, which prohibits a gathering of more than five people.

The authorities have also been asked to ensure that no public functions or programmes are held in the district till further orders and that people follow coronavirus-related protocols like maintenance of physical distancing and wearing masks.

The order stated that the steps have been taken in view of a spike in coronavirus cases in Maharashtra and that there was a possibility of spreading of the infection in the district. On Monday, Maharashtra recorded as many as 6,971 cases, while the state has witnessed an 81% surge in infections over the past week.

The decision from Balaghat administration came after Madhya Pradesh’s home department on Monday asked collectors of districts bordering Maharashtra to hold a meeting on the situation, Prasar Bharati News Services reported.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced a ban on all political, religious and social gatherings across the state from Monday, adding that a lockdown will have to be enforced if the situation deteriorates. A week-long lockdown will came into force in Amravati from Monday. Pune, on the other hand, announced restrictions on night-time movement and large gatherings.