Mumbai: In view of the spiking Covid-19 cases and deaths in Maharashtra, the Government on Friday decided to impose a night curfew across the state from March 28. The government will issue a notification on Saturday but sources said the night curfew would be from 9 pm to 6 am. At a video conference, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked for the imposition of night curfew from Sunday and for strict implementation of restrictions and Covid norms.

Top Highlights of Nigh Curfew on Sunday

  • Shopping malls would remain closed from 8 pm to 7 am.

  • The CM asked the district and civic administration to take action against establishments flouting SOPs.

  • On Friday, 36,902 new cases and 112 deaths were reported in the state.

  • Thackeray said the Maharashtra government had issued guidelines to private establishments about changes in employee attendance as well as office hours.

  • These should be closely monitored to see if rules are being complied with and strict action should be taken and the same applies to crowded places like malls, bars, hotels, cinemas if SOPs are not implemented.

  • Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh urged the Centre to make the Covid vaccines available in large numbers to the state.

  • He also stated that vaccination of teachers, professors and those working in the public transport system should be done on a priority basis.

On the prospect of imposing a lockdown in Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray said, “I have no intention of imposing a lockdown, but given the growing number of patients, there is a possibility that the health facilities that we have set up on a large scale across the state will not be enough.” He, however, asked the administration not to impose an abrupt lockdown but only after informing people the reasons for the same. Further, restrictions on socio-political and cultural programs had to be observed. Even though Maharashtra has vaccinated more than 5 million people, Thackeray directed that the program be implemented more effectively.

Govt Guidelines for Holi, Good Friday and Easter

  • In new guidelines, the state government has urged people to celebrate Holi on March 28 and Rang Panchami the following day in a simple and subdued manner, considering the rise in cases.
  • Further, the government has called upon the people to avoid crowding.
  • Noting that Konkan region has a tradition of a ‘palkhi’ or palanquin procession on Holi, the state government said this should be confined to temples and asked the local administration to do the needful.

  • “No big religious or cultural programmes should be organised on the day of Holi and Rang Panchami,” the government added.

  • The state government also urged the Christian community to observe Good Friday (on April 2) and celebrate Easter Sunday (on April 4) in a simple manner.

  • The government said, if a church is spacious, a maximum of 50 persons could attend service during the holy week from March 28 to April 4. For smaller churches, a special prayer meeting should be held in the presence of 10-25 persons and four to five special masses could be organised depending on the need, it said.