Amid growing concern over the spread of coronavirus, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday that all workplaces in major cities of the state, including Mumbai and Pune, will remain closed till March 31.
The shutdown will be applicable in Mumbai, Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur, Thackeray told reporters.
Government offices will operate at 25 per cent attendance, he said.
Maharashtra so far has 52 coronavirus positive cases, while one Covid-19 patient died in Mumbai this week.
Thackeray said the maximum number of patients were from these cities and had traveled abroad.
In a televised address, Thackeray said only essential services will remain open which include food, milk and medicines.
Banks will remain functional, Thackeray said. The attendance in government offices will be brought down to 25 per cent from the present 50 percent on a rotation basis as announced earlier, he said.
The Chief Minister ruled out shutting down public transport in Mumbai.
He said people have heeded to his request to stay at home and the trains and buses are not crowded as usual.
"I appeal to employers to ensure that the minimum wage of their workers are ensured during the shutdown period," he said adding that it is only humanity that will win against all odds.
Meanwhile, all malls in the national capital will be closed in view of the COVID-19 threat but grocery and pharmacy stores in them are exempt, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday.
"In view of the prevailing situation, we are closing down all malls (except grocery, pharmacy and vegetable shops in them)," Kejriwal tweeted.
(With PTI inputs)