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No lockdown, Maharashtra clamps Section 144 for 15 days amid Covid surge

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday announced a prohibitory order under Section 144 for 15 days across the state.

Published: 13th April 2021 09:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th April 2021 07:39 AM   |  A+A-

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI:  Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday announced a 15-day long state-wide ‘janta curfew’. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code will come into effect on April 14 at 8 pm and will be in force till May 1, he said in an address to the people of Maharashtra. 

During the period, people will not be allowed to travel without a valid reason. All establishments, public places, activities, services shall remain closed. This, however, will not apply to those offering essential services.“Public transport will not be halted but will be restricted to those working in essential services like doctors, nurses and bankers. Industry is allowed to operate but workers should stay near the plant, he said.Thackeray added the state government will use the 15 days to set up more healthcare facilities to deal with the crisis.

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The announcement came on a day when the state reported 60,212 positive cases. In his address, Thackeray also flagged the shortage in oxygen, Remdesivir and beds for Covid patients. He said Maharashtra urgently needs 50,000-60,000 Remdesivir doses and 980 tonnes of oxygen. 

“If cases continue to rise, then we will need around one lakh Remdesivir injections and even more oxygen. I spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he gave permission to bring oxygen from West Bengal and some northern states. However, it is difficult to bring oxygen from faraway places by road as it will consume a lot of time,” Thackeray said, adding that he has requested the Centre to rush life-saving oxygen and medicine using military. 

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All registered auto drivers, construction labourers, domestic workers and hawkers will be given `1,500 each. “Besides, 3 kg wheat and 2 kg rice will be given to the poor for one month, free,” he added. 
Thackeray also raised the issue of GST compensation. “The state should get all financial help from the Centre during the pandemic,” he said. 

Seating capacity in public transport system
In autos, only two passengers will be allowed to travel at a time. For four wheelers, 50% vehicle capacity will be permitted. Full seating occupancy will be allowed on buses. Strict restrictions for enforcement relate to movement of people but not on goods and commodities, the Maharashtra government said in its advisory

What will be open

  • Hospitals, diagnostic centres, clinics, vaccination, medical insurance offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and other medical and healthcare services.
  • Groceries, vegetable shops, fruit vendors, dairies, bakeries and all type of food shops
  • Public transport, including flights, trains, taxis, buses and auto rickshaws
  • Export, import of all commodities
  • E-commerce for the supply of essential services
  • Petrol pumps, ATMs, all kinds of cargo services
  • Offices can work with max 50% capacity
  • All manufacturing sectors involved in essential services to work with full capacity

What will not be open

  • All restaurants and bars for in-dining; home delivery allowed but no takeaway or pick-up 
  • All establishments, public places, activities and services. Only people from essential services category will have unrestricted movement
  • No schools, colleges across the state
  • Cinema halls, swimming pools, gyms, etc
  • No shooting of movies or serials
  • Places of worship to remain closed

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