Maharastra opts for 'weekend lockdown', stringent Covid norms

People queue up as they wait for their turn to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test before entering the Gateway of India, in Mumbai on April 4. (PTI Photo)
People queue up as they wait for their turn to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test before entering the Gateway of India, in Mumbai on April 4. (PTI Photo)

Mumbai, April 4 (IANS): With Maharashtra in the grip of the second wave of Covid-19, the Maha Vikas Aghadi Government on Sunday announced a "week-end lockdown" across the state besides stringent weekdays norms to combat the sweeping pandemic.

The decision was taken at an emergency Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, after he held detailed discussions with all stakeholders over this weekend.

The weekend curfew would commence on Fridays at 8 p.m. and end at 7 a.m. on Mondays.

While public transport in Mumbai including local trains would continue to run as usual, emphasis will be given to Work From Home (WFH) to minimise crowds.

The new rules and guidelines, which include a night curfew from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. and prohibitory orders during the day, will take effect from 8 p.m. on Monday night.

Detailed guidelines will be issued shortly, said Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh.

The situation would be reviewed again on April 15 after which the future course would be decided.

Over the last two days, Thackeray held wide ranging consultations with a cross-section of society to get their views before toughening the norms.

He also spoke with Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and his estranged cousin and MNS President Raj Thackeray.

Maharashtra is currently reporting 40,000-plus new Covid infections daily, which has resulted in a huge strain on the state's medical health resources.