Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced that Section 144 will be imposed in all urban areas of Maharashtra from Monday, March 23 onwards to restrict movement and ensure social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thackeray has also urged industries to pay at least minimum wages to employees during the lockdown period and told people to not step out of the houses after 9 pm. “Only five percent govt staff will work from tomorrow in government offices. Earlier it was reduced to 50 percent and then further down to 25 percent. State transport and private bus services to be stopped and in cities, buses will ply only for essential services. He also added that the banks and share market will be open.
During the interaction with the media, Thackeray said that incoming flights from abroad will not be allowed to land in Mumbai. “If necessary, the curfew might be extended beyond March 31, depending on the situation,” he said, adding that the number of testing labs will be increased. He also appealed to masses who have been asked to be an in-home quarantine, to strictly conform to the isolation for the 14-day incubation period.
“The determination shown today by people to stay indoors should be maintained in this fight against coronavirus,” the Chief Minister said, adding that the “difficult phase” has only begun. Highlighting the importance of public participation in this fight, he said the government will work with citizens to tackle Covid-19. “From US President Donald Trump to village sarpanch in Maharashtra, everybody should take precautionary measures,” he added.