Maharashtra imposes prohibitory orders to ensure social distancing
   Date :23-Mar-2020
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MUMBAI :
 
The Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also indicated that the lock-down in urban areas may be extended beyond March 31, if required. 
 
THE Maharashtra Government on Sunday said Section 144 of CrPC, which prohibits gathering of over five persons at public places, is being imposed in the State in order to curb the spread of coronavirus. Two Covid-19 patients have died in the State. Making the announcement, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the measure was being taken in urban areas across the State from Monday to ensure social distancing. “The State transport and private bus services will be suspended completely. The only transport that will continue to operate is the intra-city bus services, which will only ferry staff of essential services,” he said. Essential services such as groceries, vegetables vendors, banks, share markets and key financial services will continue to operate, he said.
 
The ‘work from home’ practice should be encouraged to avoid the spread of coronavirus, Thackeray said. He also indicated that the lock-down in urban areas may be extended beyond March 31, if required. “To avoid it, I need participation and help of people during the tough time,” he said. “Those who have been advised home quarantine should not mix with their family members. For the mandatory quarantine period, they should stay away from the family members as well for their own safety. If they develop any symptoms, they should approach doctor,” Thackeray said. He also asked the industry to take care of its employees. “Several companies and offices will not function, but on humanitarian grounds these establishments should pay at least the basic salaries of their employees, he said.
 
“I have personally reduced the State staff as well. Some days back, we were running offices at 50 per cent capacity. From Monday, only five per cent staff of the Government will come to work, he said. Defending his decision, the Chief Minister said, “I have unfortunately taken this decision as we are at a stage where the virus is likely to multiply its infection.” To avoid it, like it has been done in some European countries, the Maharashtra Government has decided to go for a complete lock-down in urban areas of the State. The Centre has already restricted commercial international flights at all airports in the State.
 
“With CrPC 144 in force, we are trying to minimise the spread of coronavirus,” he added. Mah issues advisory for private hospitals: The Maharashtra Government on Saturday issued an advisory to private hospitals asking them to postpone non-emergency services and prepare isolation wards in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak. It has also directed them to maintain a minimum stock of masks, gloves and personal protection kits. Staff training has been emphasised in the advisory, which also adds that patients not facing any serious ailment not be admitted to hospitals. Only one relative of the admitted patient should be allowed to stay, it added.