Maharashtra: Traders oppose lockdowns, curfews imposed to curb spread of coronavirus

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“We can no longer survive if business activities are suspended again. We are ready to follow Covid-19 protocol but business activities should not be stopped,” a trader in Beed was quoted as saying by PTI.

BJP leader and leader of opposition in the Legislative Council Pravin Darekar came out in support of the traders.

“It is absolutely wrong to implement measures that will hamper business activities,” he said.

“Some business activities have picked up pace and their business was settling down. If we slow it down again, the consequences will be severe this time,” Darekar added.

With the state reporting highest-ever daily rise in cases on Friday, strict, lockdown-like restrictions have been imposed in districts such as Beed, Latur and Osmanabad.

To check the situation, NCP leader and state minister Chhagan Bhujbal visited some market places in his home district of Nashik and appealed to people to wear masks properly.

“I saw several people, vegetable vendors, shop owners not wearing masks. I appealed to them not to do so. Otherwise, they will force the administration to take steps like lockdown,” Bhujbal said.

Cases in Maharashtra

The state on Saturday saw a slight dip in new Covid-19 cases with 35,726 people testing positive as opposed to nearly 37,000 on Friday.

Mumbai, on the other hand, saw its highest-ever single-day spike as over 6,000 new cases were reported in the city.

The cumulative tally in Maharashtra has now reached 26,73,46. The state has added over one lakh cases in the last four days.

The virus-related death toll saw a huge spike in the last 24 hours with 166 more people succumbing to the disease, bringing the total number of fatalities to 54,073, according to the health bulletin.

The state last reported over 160 deaths on 6 November, 2020. There were 112 fatalities on Friday.

Restrictions in the state

1) Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases across the country, the Maharashtra government has tightened Covid-19 restrictions in the state till 15 April.

Public places like beaches and gardens will remain to remain shut from 8 pm to 7 am effective from midnight of 27 March. Violation of the same will attract a penalty of 1000 per head.

“All public places including gardens and beaches will remain closed during the same period and violators will be fined 1,000 per person. Not wearing of face mask will attract 500 fine while the same is 1,000 for public spitting,” as per the order.

In an official notification, the government announced the same.

It said that holding of social, cultural, political and religious gatherings in the state is being banned completely.

Auditoriums or drama theatres should not allow their property to be used for such events, it said.

2) Strict, lockdown-like restrictions have been imposed in districts such as Beed, Latur and Osmanabad.

3) Lockdown has been imposed in the Parbhani district in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra from 24 to 31 March.

4) Lockdown has been imposed in the city of Nanded from 25 March to 4 April.

5) Aurangabad lockdown during the night has been imposed till 4 April.

6) Social gatherings of all kinds have been banned till 30 April across the state.

7) Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Saturday announced that residential societies with five or more Covid-19 cases will be sealed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

“Night curfew in Mumbai may start from 10 pm or 11 pm on March 28. Hotels and pubs to remain closed during the night curfew. Only essential services will be allowed. BMC will seal the residential societies with five or more cases. We are seeing a higher positivity rate in high-rises than in slums and chawls,” she added.

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