In a bid to reduce transmission of Covid-19 in the state, the Maharashtra government imposed further restrictions. The new order issued by Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte states that food shops will be closed after 11 am, while home delivery will be allowed until 8 pm.
The notification dated 20 April said all shops and vendors related to food items, including groceries, diaries, bakeries, confectionaries, non-veg (fish, poultry, mutton, eggs), have been ordered to conduct business only from 7 am to 11 am, with immediate effect. This order extends to shops related to agricultural implements & farm produce, pet food shops, and shops related to materials for the forthcoming rainy season.
Home delivery from the said shops can be availed from 7 am to 8 pm. However, the local authorities can change these timings depending on the status of Covid-19 cases in the area and other criteria after receiving consent from the Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority. The curbs are proposed to be in place until 7 am, 1 May 2021.
Shops falling under essential services must follow appropriate covid behaviour like getting vaccinated at the earliest, as per the criteria of the Government of India, maintaining safety measures and social distancing. Fines will be imposed on individual/s who do not comply with the rules set in place.
This decision followed a cabinet meeting of the State government regarding the threat of increasing transmissions in Maharashtra despite the curfew put in place on 14th April 2021. The 15-day curfew had exempted only the movement of essential services and goods, yet Maharashtra recorded its highest single-day spike on Sunday, 18th April, with 68,631 positive cases.
Most ministers made a demand for complete lockdown in the state cabinet meeting held yesterday. An official announcement regarding the same by CM can be expected any minute. Officials said that stringent restrictions have become inevitable as people take advantage of the existing curfew timings to crowd public areas. While addressing a healthcare event on Tuesday, Maharashtra State minister Rajesh Tope said that the state government is trying to find solutions to the shortages of oxygen and remdesivir antiviral vaccines brought on by the challenging second wave of Covid-19.
On Tuesday, 20th April, the tally of active cases in Maharashtra went up to 6,83,856, with the highest number of patients being in the districts of Mumbai and Thane. The state recorded 62,097 new cases and 519 deaths due to coronavirus. Furthermore, India recorded the highest single-day rise of 2,95,041 lakh new Covid-19 positive cases in the last 24 hours.