The Maharashtra government on Saturday imposed a ban on all social gatherings in the state due to a surge in coronavirus cases, PTI reported.
Shortly after, Maharashtra recorded 35,726 new coronavirus cases, according to ANI. The state recorded 166 deaths, which is the highest since October. The toll jumped to 54,073. Mumbai alone accounts for 6,123 infections – the highest ever one-day rise. The city’s overall tally rose to 3,91,751.
In an official order, the government said that restaurants, cinema halls, gardens and malls will remain shut between 8 pm to 7 am from Saturday night. People will also not be allowed to visit beaches during this period.
People violating the norms related to public places will be fined Rs 1,000, while those not wearing masks will be penalised Rs 500, the order said. Those found spitting in public places will also be fined Rs 1,000.
Gatherings at weddings has been capped at 50 people, while only 20 people will be allowed at funerals. Private offices, except those related to health and other essential services, have been asked to function at 50% of their capacity. Religious institutions have been asked to declare maximum number of visitors per hour.
Essential services, home delivery and takeaway services from restaurants have been exempted from the restrictions.
On Friday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had imposed a night curfew across the state starting from Sunday.
Maharashtra, which has consistently been reporting the most number of coronavirus cases among all states, recorded 36,902 new infections on Friday. The country, meanwhile, reported 62,258 new cases in the last 24 hours, in the the highest single-day rise since October 16.
Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab cumulatively account for 73% of the total 4,52,647 active cases in the country.
Earlier on Saturday, the Centre held a meeting with officials of 12 states and 46 districts which have been the worst affected by the pandemic. The government recommended a five-fold strategy to the affected states and districts. It asked them to take stringent actions in the next two weeks towards containment and contact tracing, the health ministry said in a release.