Maharashtra lockdown extended till July 31, state urges caution amid rise in COVID-19 cases
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jun 29, 2020, 05:15 pm
Maharashtra government on Monday announced the extension of the lockdown in the state till July 31 after a surge in the number of coronavirus cases. A new set of guidelines under the 'Mission Begin Again' campaign was also launched with the government stating there will be restrictions for the movement of non-essential activities in Mumbai Metropolitan Region's neighbourhoods. A statement released by the Maharashtra government reads, "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 government said unrestricted movement in the state is only applicable for those attending offices and emergencies. The statement further read, "It is also directed that unrestricted movement will be permitted only for attending place of work and bonafide humanitarian requirements including medical reason".
Maharashtra government's latest order also states that permission has been given to all essential shops including e-commerce activity for essential and non-essential items to continue with industrial units and home delivery of food operations being given the nod. Shops and markets in the essential and non-essential sectors can continue to function between 9AM to 5PM with the exception of malls and market complexes.
The government's directive also states, "All Government offices (excluding Emergency, health and Medical, treasuries, disaster management, police, NIC, food and Civil Supply, FCI, NYK, Municipal Services) to function with 15% strength or 15 persons - whichever is higher,". It also says all private offices in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region can continue operations with 10% strength or 10 people.
People in self-employed professions such as plumbers, electricians, pest control, garages, printing and distribution of newspapers (including home delivery), and barber shops, have also been given permission in MMR to carry out operations. It is to be noted that the spike in the number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra has been observed mostly in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region while relaxations for the rest of the state have been given by the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP government.
"Intra-district bus service will be allowed with maximum 50% capacity per bus with physical distancing and sanitation measures.", the statement further read. Maharashtra is the worst-affected state in the country with 1,64,626 coronavirus cases and 7,429 deaths, as per the latest data released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.