Maharashtra government announces weekend lockdown, opposition backs stricter Covid-19 curbs
- During Maharashtra’s night curfew and weekend lockdown only essential services will be allowed to operate, minister Nawab Malik told reporters.
As the Maharashtra government led by Uddhav Thackeray announced tougher restrictions to control the worrying coronavirus situation, opposition leaders Devendra Fadnavis and Raj Thackeray on Sunday welcomed the move and assured support in adhering to Covid-19 norms.
“BJP supports the government’s decision to impose lockdown. People should abide by restrictions and follow Covid-19 protocols. To ensure maximum vaccination, BJP workers would help people register and reach vaccination centres," former Maharashtra CM and leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis told news agency ANI.
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Devendra Fadnavis’ remark came in the backdrop of the new curbs announced by the Maharashtra government that will remain in place till April 30. Monday onwards, the state will witness a night curfew starting 8pm and ending at 7am while a weekend lockdown will also be imposed from Friday 8pm to Monday 7am, state minister Nawab Malik announced. He added that prohibitory orders issued under Section 144 will also be enforced during the daytime through the week.
Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray also pledged support and asked his party workers to adhere to the government’s guidelines and cooperate fully with the state machinery. "Please cooperate with the government agencies and follow all the directives of the government," the party said in a tweet in Marathi.
Raj Thackeray’s reply came soon after chief minister Uddhav Thackeray dialled him and BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis informing them about the intent to impose curbs and to seek their cooperation regarding the same.
During Maharashtra’s night curfew and weekend lockdown only essential services will be allowed to operate, minister Nawab Malik told reporters. The government has also ordered shopping malls, bars, restaurants, and small shops to provide only takeaway and parcels services.
Theatres, drama theatres will remain shut, while film and television shootings will continue if there is no crowding. Parks and playgrounds will also be closed, the minister said, adding that government offices will operate with 50% capacity while private offices have been told to provide work from home facility.
The move comes a day after Maharashtra reported nearly 50,000 fresh Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day spike since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.