The Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced that shops, including groceries, vegetable and diaries, will be open only for four hours and home delivery will no longer be allowed after 8 pm. The new restrictions will be implemented from 8 pm on Tuesday till 7 am on May 1.
“All groceries, vegetable shops, fruit vendors, diaries, confectionaries, all type of food shops (including chicken, mutton, poultry, fish and eggs), shops related agricultural implements and farm produce, pet food shops, shops related to materials for impending rainy season for individuals as well as for organisations to be open only between 7 am to 11 am,” the order read.
Home delivery from these shops, however, will be allowed between 7 am to 8 pm, the order said. “These timings however may be changed by the local authority,” the government added.
The decisions were announced after Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope held a meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, reported Mumbai Mirror. Tope, citing Pawar, said that grocery stores would be allowed to operate only for four hours as “a lot of people step outside and roam around in the name of purchasing products”.
Maharashtra, the worst-hit state in India, is reeling under the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The state has 6,78,198 active Covid-19 cases, 31,59,240 recoveries and 60,824 fatalities as of Tuesday morning, the Union health ministry data showed.
Fresh curbs were implemented in the state from April 14 for 15 days, with the state government imposing a ban on gatherings of more than four residents. Only essential services will be allowed to operate during this period. Restaurants can only offer take-aways and home delivery. Mumbai’s civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s mayor Kishori Pednekar had on Saturday called for a complete lockdown in the city considering the current Covid-19 situation.
On Sunday, Maharashtra also declared six states as places of “sensitive origin” in its attempt to stop the influx of coronavirus variants. These states are Kerala, Goa, Gujarat, Delhi and the National Capital Region, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.