With 42 active cases, Maharashtra has decided to go with a total shut down amid coronavirus scare. Malls, restaurants, commercial stores, local trains, and cinema theaters have chosen to be numb. From shutting down the educational institutes to forcing Section 144 Code, India’s most industrial area is trying all means to check the spread of the virus.
The worst-ever health crisis in Maharastra
With the largest number of COVID-19 patients, Maharashtra is suffering its worst-ever health crisis. Understanding the pandemic, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray called for an urgent meeting of various departments to review the situation in the backdrop of COVID-19 and review measures to contain its spread.
After the meeting, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government announced that the state government offices would operate with minimum work strength. Additionally, it has also asked the private firms to work at 50% attendance.
“The staffers will work alternatively. Public transport like trains, metro and buses will be also run on this same 50 percent principle basis.” Thackeray said. He adds that the government plans to implement shift hours for retail shops/markets in different urban localities.
In forethought, The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has also warned of disciplinary action against those private companies which fail to implement 50 percent of staff norms or disallow work from home.
Thackeray also said the number of suburban trains and buses will be reduced, standees won’t be permitted and those seating would be kept at a safe distance as precautionary measures.
“The passengers in BEST buses will not be allowed to stand and travel anymore. The safe distance will be kept between the two passengers on buses. The schools are shut so the buses of the schools will be used to ferry the general passengers. It will help to ease the crowd,” Thackeray said.
On Tuesday, the Central Railway had already canceled 23 trains amid coronavirus scare. Railways also increased platform ticket prices from ₹10 to ₹50 in Mumbai, Pune, Bhusawal, and Solapur divisions.
“The Central Railway has increased platform ticket price from ₹10 to ₹50 in its Mumbai, Pune, Bhusawal, and Solapur divisions till further orders to curb crowd at stations,” the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Central Railway, in a press statement.
Restaurants and hotels are closed
CM also advised Mumbai hotel and restaurants to follow the Pune model where they have willingly decided to close for the next three days from Wednesday to avoid virus spread. It is said that the restaurant association has decided to close down all 850 hotels in the city for three days beginning on Tuesday.
“The police requested us to halt operations, it’s also our moral duty. There are 850 hotels in the city, in which around 25,000 people work,’ said G Shetty, President of Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association. Pune traders’ bodies also decided to close shops in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Temples and Mosques remain closed
All significant places of worship like temples, churches, mosques, and gurdwaras have shut their doors for devotees in the wake of coronavirus infection. Moreover, some religious communities are now offering online prayers, namaz, etc. to keep the crowd and the virus away.
According to the sources, Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code was imposed in Nagpur and Nashik to avoid public gatherings.
“Police forced prohibitory orders (Section-144 of CrPC) in the city to avoid gathering of people in a place, in the wake of coronavirus crisis. The order shall remain in force till March 31,” said Ravindra Kadam, Joint Commissioner of Police, Nagpur.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also made it clear that any person, who is home-quarantined and refuse to follow government and health department directives, will be forcefully hospitalized to protect other’s lives because of the spreading of coronavirus.
At this moment
In the present situation, all beaches in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg are near-deserted, as also the prominent hill stations in the Western Ghats, resorts, wildlife sanctuaries, tourist destinations, etc.
The state has already passed into the partial shutdown with all schools, colleges, malls, theatres, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools closed till March 31.
Clubs, pubs, discos, bars, and paan-cigarette vendors are also asked to shut their shops amid scare of the disease spread.
Around 40,000 shops are closed in Nagpur. Only essential items and medical shops are seen open. The authorities have also decided to shut down all parks and gardens of Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) till March 31.
The authorities have also started imposing a hefty fine of Rs 1,000 for people found spitting in public.