The Maharashtra government on Sunday announced a weekend lockdown starting from 8 pm on Fridays up to 7 am on Mondays, PTI reported quoting minister Nawab Malik. The state has decided against a complete lockdown amid rising coronavirus cases.
Malik added that that a standard operating procedure on the restrictions will be implemented from 8 pm on Monday, during which gathering of more than five people will be prohibited. The minister said that government offices will function at 50% capacity, while a similar occupancy will be allowed in private vehicles.
Soon after the restrictions were announced, government data showed that Maharashtra reported 57,074 new cases and 222 deaths in the last 24 hours, ANI reported.
Capital Mumbai reported 11,163 cases on Sunday in yet another record high in daily cases, according to civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. As many as 25 people died in the last 24 hours, while the city’s active caseload stood at 68,052. The number of tests conducted also went up from 43597 on Saturday, to 51,319 on Sunday. The growth rate of Covid cases edged up from 1.54% on Saturday, to 1.61% on Sunday, according to data from BMC.
Nagpur district reported 4,110 cases and 62 deaths, up from 3,720 infections and 47 fatalities on Saturday, official data showed.
As far as the new restrictions are concerned, a night curfew between 8 pm to 7 am will be imposed on weekdays as well, according to NDTV. Minister Aslam Shaikh told ANI that only essential services will be allowed during these hours and restaurants will be permitted only to provide take away and parcel facilities. Malls, temples, cinema halls, beaches and other tourist places will remain closed. Industrial operations and construction activity will be allowed, so will be shoots for films, but without crowds, NDTV reported.
A detailed standard operating procedure will be released later on Sunday, Shaikh said. The government has also asked offices to allow their employees to work from home.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a Cabinet meeting on the coronavirus situation and sought suggestions on tackling the pandemic from Opposition leaders Devendra Fadnavis and Raj Thackeray, Times Now reported.
The government’s decision came after Maharashtra continued to witness a huge surge in coronavirus cases over the last few weeks, recording the highest number of infections among all states. On Saturday, Mumbai alone recorded 9,090 new cases, while the overall tally of the state went up by 49,447. Addressing the state on Saturday, Thackeray had said that a lockdown cannot be ruled out in the state.
India on Sunday recorded 93,249 new coronavirus cases, in the highest single day rise since mid-September.