Ruling out a complete lockdown amid the extreme Covid-19 surge in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Tuesday said the state government will impose Section 144 from 8 pm on April 14 till 7 am on May 1 — in other words, a very strict curfew that lasts over a fortnight. While any assembly of five or more persons will be discouraged, emergency services, such as grocery shopping, e-commerce and food delivery, will function between 7 am and 8 pm.
However, most government and private offices, as well as shops and other establishments will have to down shutters till the end of the month.
The state government will provide 3 kg wheat and 2 kg rice free for the next one month to every poor and needy person while the coronavirus-induced restrictions are in place, Thackeray added.
In a video address, Thackeray said the state government is continuously upgrading the healthcare infrastructure but it is under pressure. “There is a shortage of medical oxygen, beds and the demand for Remdesivir has also increased,” he said.
Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is issued in urgent cases of security threat or emergency and bars the assembly of five or more people in an area where it has been imposed.
The CM also said he will speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting the Indian Air Force’s assistance in the supply of oxygen for medical use from nearby states.
#Maharashtra curfew starts tomorrow. Here are the guidelines
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) April 13, 2021
Public transport such as buses and trains would remain operational for emergency services, while petrol pumps, financial institutions associated with SEBI, ATMs, and construction work would also continue. Hotel and restaurants would remain closed and only take-away/home deliveries would be allowed, he said.
Those engaged in essential services or involved in interaction with staff engaged in essential services need to get vaccinated at the earliest based on the guidelines issued by the Government of India, the notification read.
What’s allowed during Maharashtra curfew
*Services and activities falling in ‘essential category’ are exempted.
* E-commerce (only for the supply of essential goods and services).
* Public transport: Airplanes, trains, taxis (50% vehicle capacity), auto rickshaw (driver+2 passengers), public buses (full seating capacity/no standing passenger allowed)
*Petrol pumps, services designated by RBI as essential, financial institutions associated with SEBI and construction work to continue.
* Veterinary services, animal care shelters, pet food shops
* Groceries, vegetable shops, fruit vendors, dairies, bakeries
* Cold storage and warehouse services
* Diplomatic offices
* All public services by local authorities
* Marriages to be allowed with only 25 persons in presence. In case of funerals, only 20 persons are allowed.
* All construction activities are allowed at those sites where labourers are living on site. Movement to and fro from outside must be avoided, except for the purpose of material movement.
What’s not allowed during Maharashtra curfew
*Cinema halls, theatres, swimming pools, gyms and sports complexes to remain closed.
*All restaurants and bars to remain closed for in-dining. Only home delivery services shall be allowed and there shall be no visiting any restaurant or bar for ordering purposes or pickup.
*Shooting for film/serials/advertisements to be closed.
*Public places like beaches, gardens, open spaces, etc. shall remain closed.
*Religious places of worship to remain closes.
* All political activity to be stopped in state.
*Barber shops, spas, salons and beauty parlours to remain closed.
*All schools and colleges to remain closed.
*Students who have to attend any exam will be allowed to travel along with one adult, on basis of a valid hall ticket.
*All private coaching classes to remain closed.
* Any industrial process that is a net consumer of oxygen as a raw material is to be disallowed. Those processes, which come under essential activities or circumstances, could be exempted after written permission from Development Commissioner.
Here is the complete list of curbs imposed in Maharashtra
Maharashtra, which has the maximum number of active Covid-19 cases (5,93,042), has complained of vaccine shortage and has repeatedly requested the Centre to send a bigger batch of vaccines to the state. On Tuesday, the state registered 60,212 new cases and 281 deaths.
The state, which is grappling with a second Covid-19 wave, already has a weekend lockdown in place besides daily night curfews.
Last week, CM Thackeray had addressed an all-party meeting where he hinted at the imposition of an extended lockdown in the state to curb the surge in cases.