Coronavirus cases: Maharashtra bans gatherings, restricts timings of malls, restaurants
Mumbai, Mar 27: Struggling to arrest the fresh surge in COVID-19 cases, the Maharashtra government on Saturday announced a ban on holding of all types of gatherings, including political and religious, a day before new curbs on assembly of more than five persons in night will come into force.
The government also ordered that restaurants, gardens and malls will remain shut between 8 pm to 7 am beginning Saturday night. People will also not be allowed to visit beaches during 8 pm to 7 am, an official order said. Drama theatres will also remain shut from Saturday night.
However, the government has exempted delivery of food in night hours in its new set of guidelines. "Gatherings of more than five people will not be allowed from 8 pm to 7 am effective from midnight on 27th March. Violation will attract penalty of Rs 1,000 per person on offenders. "All public places including gardens and beaches will remain closed during the same period and violators will be fined with Rs 1,000 per person. Not wearing of face mask will attract Rs 500 fine while the same is Rs 1,000 for public spitting," as per the order.
It said that holding of social, cultural, political and religious gatherings in the state is being banned completely. Auditoriums or drama theatres should not allow their property to be used for such events, it said.
In view of the rising graph of COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had on Friday directed officials to impose section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure under which gathering of five or more persons will be banned in night in the state beginning March 28.
The CM had warned of stricter restrictions if people did not observe COVID-19 safety protocol. As per the order issued on Saturday, a board will be put up on the door of COVID-19 patients for a period of 14 days that will be counted from the day a patient is in home isolation.
The infected person will be stamped with the home quarantine seal, it said. If such patient is found violating norms, he/she would be immediately shifted to a COVID Care Centre by local authorities concerned, stated the new rules. All these orders will remain effective till April 30, the order said.
Earlier, a member of the Maharashtra COVID-19 task force had said that imposition of lockdowns and similar measures have limited success in the fight against the pandemic. Maharashtra added 36,902 new infections on March 26, taking the cumulative tally to 26,37,735 while the overall death toll stood at 53,907. The state had 2,82,451 active cases as on Friday.