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COVID-19 crisis: Curfew in Maharashtra from Monday midnight

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck
Last updated on: March 23, 2020 18:37 IST
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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said curfew will be imposed in the entire state from Monday midnight as the fight against coronavirus has reached a "turning point".

IMAGE: Policemen stand guard at Mumbai's CSMT station to ensure no movement of people. Photograph: Sahil Salvi for Rediff.com

The next few days would be crucial, Thackeray said, adding that crowds will not be tolerated in public places and action would be taken against those violating the government's guidelines.

He, however, assured that all essential services will remain open during the time of curfew.

 

"We will be enforcing curfew in the entire state from Monday midnight. We have come to a turning point in our battle against the COVID-19 outbreak. The next few days would be extremely important. We are also sealing borders of all districts to check the spread of coronavirus," the chief minister said.

"We will not tolerate crowds in public places at any cost. Except in case of an emergency, no one will be allowed to roam on the streets. If these guidelines are violated, people will face legal action," Thackeray warned.

All essential services, medical stores, veterinary doctors and their shops will continue to operate during the curfew, he said.

"The way we clapped yesterday (March 22), it was, in fact, a siren of warning. We need to observe complete restraint at this moment, or we will regret forever. This is the turning point in our fight against coronavirus," Thackeray said.

Home quarantine, he said, is mandatory as it is the advisory from health experts and government.

"We need to win the battle against coronavirus. The state government is also training anganwadi (state-run women and child care centres) and ASHA (accredited social health activist) workers and home guards as the state would need extra manpower in the fight against COVID-19," he said.

The chief minister said he has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi, requesting him to suspend domestic flight services.

"We will allow only essential services. If we cannot check the coronavirus outbreak at this moment, we may face the fate of some European countries," he said.

Italy is the hardest-hit European country with 5,476 deaths so far while the coronavirus has claimed 2,182 lives in Spain.

"The state borders are almost sealed. Supply of food, grains, cereals, milk and medicines will continue from one district to another. No other movement will be allowed," Thackeray said.

Shops pertaining to agriculture services, like sale and distribution of fertilisers and pesticides, were also open, he added.

"Their movement will also be allowed in this time. This situation will not last long, but we need the support of people," Thackeray said.

All religious centres will remain closed as well. "They are not exempted during the curfew time. Priests can go to temples, mosques and churches and perform the rituals, but no mass gathering will be allowed," the chief minister said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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