Friday, Oct 07, 2022

Night Curfew, Weekend Lockdown in Maharashtra Amid Covid-19 Surge

The Maharashtra government on Sunday decided to impose a night curfew in the state amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Representational image.

The Maharashtra government on Sunday announced a weekend lockdown in a bid to curb the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state. The lockdown will start from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday.

NCP minister Nawab Malik said that night curfew will continue and prohibitory orders issued under section 144 will be imposed during the daytime during the week.

Apart from the weekend lockdown, strict restrictions will be in force from Monday 8 pm onwards, Minority Affairs Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

"Apart from the weekend lockdown, strict restrictions will be in force from 8 pm tomorrow, under which shopping malls, bars, restaurants, small shops will be open only for take-aways and parcels. Government offices will be allowed to function only at 50 per cent of their capacity," he said.

Industries and production sector, vegetable markets will function with Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs), and construction sites will operate if there is an accommodation facility for workers, he added.

Private offices shall remain closed in Maharashtra from Monday night when new Covid-19 restrictions will be imposed in the state, said state Health Minister Rajesh Tope. However, the banking and insurance sectors shall be exempted from the rule. 

Employees of private offices will be allowed to work from home, added Tope. 

Theatres, drama theatres will be shut, while film and television shootings will continue if there is no crowding. Parks and playgrounds will also be closed, he said.

Religious places will have to follow the SoPs, Malik said, adding that that public transport system will remain functional.

Mumbai city guardian minister Aslam Shaikh told reporters that work from home will be encouraged for offices, except for insurance, mediclaim, electricity and civic offices.

Essential services have been exempted from the existing night curfew, he said.

According to a tweet shared by Mumbai's civic body, the city recorded 11, 163 new cases in a span of 24 hours.


The Maharashtra government also announced new guidelines that are going to remain in effect from April 5 to April 30.  All these new restrictions will come into effect from Monday at 8 pm and will be called 'Break the Chain' instead of 'Mission Begin Again', a campaign that was launched by the state government for the phase-wise reopening of lockdown last year. The new restrictions are: 

  • Gardens, beaches, and all public places will be closed from 8 pm to 7 am. If the local administration feels that people crowd these places during the daytime without observing physical distancing, they will be closed down.
  • Public and private transport systems will continue to operate. Taxis and autorickshaws will ferry 50 per cent of their total capacity at a time. There will be no standing
    passengers in public and private buses and masks will be mandatory, the new guidelines said.

  • The railway administration has been asked to ensure that outstation trains do not have standing passengers and everyone should have face masks.
  • Bus drivers, conductors and other employees must have COVID-19 negative test report or get themselves vaccinated at the earliest.

  • Schools, colleges and private coaching classes will be closed. However, exams for Classes 10 and 12 will take place as announced earlier.

  • E-commerce services will continue from 7 am to 8 pm .
  • Salons, beauty parlours will be closed and the staff should get vaccinated at the earliest, the guidelines said.

  • Only take-away and parcel services will be available from restaurants and bars and road-side eateries will also do business only for take-away and parcel service.

  • Home-delivery employees need to get vaccinated, failing which the delivery person will be fined Rs 1,000 and the company Rs 10,000.

  • Newspaper printing and distribution will continue.
  • In the essential services shops, employees should get themselves vaccinated at the earliest and ensure that COVID-appropriate behaviour is followed in their premises.

  • Film and TV shoots will continue and coronavirus testing of all crew members has to be carried out. This will be implemented from April 10.

  • Agriculture-related activities, including transport of food grains and agricultural produce, will continue uninterrupted.
  • Construction workers will not be taken off their jobs if they fall ill of COVID-19.

  • If a housing society has more than five COVID-19 patients, that building will be declared as a "mini containment" zone.

Maharashtra on Sunday reported the highest single-day rise of 57,074coronavirus positive cases while 222 patients succumbed to the infection, the state government said.

With the addition of new infections, the overall tally in the state reached 30,10,597 while the death toll mounted to 55,878, it said.

The state's health department had said that the state had recorded 49,447  fresh covid-19 cases on Saturday.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, while addressing people of the state on social media on Friday,  had also said that stricter curbs will be imposed in one or two days to check the surge in Covid-19 cases.

(With PTI inputs.)