Public transport, including trains, to remain operational: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray on new Covid-19 curbs
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday public transport, including buses and local trains, will not be suspended as he announced stricter restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Maharashtra. Section 144, which restricts the gathering of more than four or five people, will be imposed in the state for the next 15 days, Uddhav Thackeray announced.
Public transport like aeroplanes, trains, taxis, autos and buses are categorised as essential and will remain operational for essential service workers during the restrictions effective from Wednesday 8pm till May 1 7am. According to the guidelines, no one will be allowed to be in a public place without any valid reason. All establishments, public place activities and services will remain closed. Services and activities under the essential category will be exempted.
During his address to the state, the chief minister said the Covid-19 situation in the state is dreadful and it was time to take strict measures. “We are facing a shortage of oxygen, beds. Demand for Remdesivir has soared,” Thackeray said during the address.
Informing the people about the situation, Thackeray said he will be writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the air force to supply oxygen in the state. Announcing the new restrictions, the chief minister put the onus on the citizens to adhere to Covid-19 safety measures in order to prevent the spread. “People have to decide whether they want to help corona or the government that is working to curb it,” Thackeray added.
The additional restrictions besides weekend lockdown and night curfew come as the state is reporting a rising trend in the number of daily Covid-19 infections. The healthcare system in the state has also reached capacity as it is not able to keep pace with the growth in the number of Covid-19 cases.
Huge crowds are seen at marketplaces after the weekend lockdown gets over or during the non-curfew hours and the restrictions have been imposed to prevent this from happening.
Maharashtra is the top contributor to the number of new Covid-19 infections in the country. On Tuesday, the state reported 60,212 fresh cases and 281 fatalities in the last 24 hours.