Coronavirus: Maharashtra CM orders Mumbai offices shut till Mar 31, essential services open
The chief minister didn’t announce suspension of train and bus services as had been anticipated by some.Updated: Mar 21, 2020 12:48 IST
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday ordered closing of offices and shops in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Pimpri and Nagpur till March 31 to curb any possibility of the coronavirus infection spreading.
Thackeray also announced that the state government will operate at only 25% of the workforce, down from the 50% that his government had announced last week.
The chief minister didn’t announce suspension of train and bus services as had been anticipated by some.
“There have been demands that trains, buses, etc. be shut down. This may be a relevant suggestion but what about people who are part of critical services such as doctors, nurses, BMC employees etc. How will they travel?” Thackeray said in an address to the state via Facebook.
“So, we have decided that as of now we won’t shut down trains or buses, but we have decided to bring the staff strength at government offices to 25% from the 50%
The shutdown will come into effect from midnight.
Essential services like milk, groceries, medical shops will continue to function, Thackeray said.
The chief minister was flanked by health minister Rajesh Tope and Maharashtra chief secretary Ajoy Mehta.
Thackeray said that the crowd in the local trains and buses have reduced but it has to go down further. He said that staying at home is the only “weapon” against the fight on Covid-19.
“This is not a holiday, it is a shutdown in your interest so avoid venturing out,” the chief minister said adding train and bus services will have to be stopped if the crowding does not go down substantially.
Thackeray asked private firms managements to pay their daily wagers for this duration. “This is a part of humanity and we hope that everyone keeps up humanity by not deducting salaries and wages of employees,” he said.