Shops selling essential commodities will be allowed to stay open 24 hours of the day in Maharashtra, Delhi and Goa.
The Goa government also announced that shops providing essential items like groceries, milk and vegetables would be kept open round-the-clock in the state during the lockdown period.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announced on Thursday that shops selling essential items such as groceries and vegetables will be allowed to operate round the clock to ease rush.
The decision was taken to prevent crowding at shops and marketplaces amid the lockdown to contain the coronaviruspandemic, a statement from Thackeray's office said.
Thackeray held discussions with senior officials who are in charge of special control room for coronavirus set up at the Mantralaya (state secretariat) about how to ensure smooth supply of essential goods earlier in the day, it added.
However, shop-keepers must ensure that social distancing is maintained and rules about hygiene and sanitising are followed, the CMO statement said.
Meanwhile, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal said that the government will allow shops selling essential items to operate round the clock.
In a joint digital press conference with Baijal at 12 noon, Kejriwal said that one case of coronavirus was reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of such cases to 36.
He said that among the 36 cases, 26 people were those who returned from abroad recently.
E-commerce companies in the national capital can carry out home delivery of essential commodities as their employees' identity cards will be considered valid during the lockdown, the chief minister said.
Subdivisional magistrates and assistant commissioners of police have been directed to ensure shops selling groceries, vegetables and milk remain open and essential items are adequately stocked in their respective areas, the lieutenant governor said.
Baijal said that as a special measure, grocery and essential supplies stores will be allowed to operate round the clock.
This will help in staggering customer visits and maintaining social distancing norms, he added.
In view of the lockdown, Baijal directed the authorities concerned to keep strict check on prices of essential items, including medicines, and also take penal action against hoarding and black-marketing.
According to the chief minister, people are largely keeping indoors and the situation is 'under control' but more caution was needed to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
He said despite a Mohalla Clinic doctor and his family testing positive for coronavirus, the centres will not be closed and all precautions are being taken.
"We will continue to conduct test on doctors, paramedical staff who are engaged in treating COVID-19 patients," the chief minister said.
Kejriwal said that Delhi government has decided and issued orders that the e-commerce delivery of essential services should not stop in Delhi.
"The company ID cards of these delivery people will be accepted as their proof and will be allowed to travel," he said.
Earlier in the day, Baijal and Kejriwal held a video conference with district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police to review enforcement of lockdown, social distancing and supply of essential commodities and medicines in the national capital.
According to a statement issued by the LG's office, the lieutenant governor and the chief minister instructed DMs to coordinate with various agencies and engage with NGOs, voluntary associations for provision of food for the homeless and destitute.
They stressed on maintaining social distancing at all times, including a points where free food is being provided, it stated.
The statement stated that the LG also instructed authorities for personal monitoring of helplines, identification of trends of grievances or complaints and raise levels according to the requirement.
The LG also reviewed the preparedness and action taken by health department to contain COVID-19 outbreak.
Secretary (health) informed that they are monitoring upcoming testing facilities by private hospitals.
'Mandatory COVID-19 testing for frontline workers is in progress. Health department is also preparing second line of health volunteers...,' it also stated.
In Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said though the government was not in favour of taking such a step, it had to take the decision due to pressure from social media users and other quarters.
He said shops selling groceries, milk and vegetables would be kept open round-the-clock, but people should maintain social distancing while visiting these outlets.
The chief minister said the decision will be implemented keeping in view the central governments guidelines related to the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
Meanwhile, Sawant said at least 1,500 people from Goa, who travelled outside the state in recent past, have been home quarantined.