Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray
announced imposing Section 144 in Mumbai and places nearby, invoking a law that restricts people from gathering in public.
Bloomberg News reported that authorities in Mumbai had barred residents from using suburban train services after thousands of poor migrants thronged the city’s railway stations Friday to flee to their native villages, afraid that a partial shutdown in the nation’s commercial hub would rob them of weeks of pay.
All intercity bus services will also remain shut in Maharashtra till March 31.
Thackeray urged industries to pay at least minimum wages to employees during lockdown period. Mumbai has more than 8 million migrants from other areas of the country.
"Maharashtra has entered into a very sensitive and important phase of coronavirus
pandemic so I urge people to take all precautions in the fight against this virus," Thackeray said in a video conference.
India has reported 341 confirmed cases in total of the virus till date and the death toll has hit 6. Authorities say the cases are imported by travelers from abroad rather than instances of community transmission.
On Saturday, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has widened the testing net and issued guidelines for private labs to test for the virus. The ICMR also set a price cap of Rs 4,500 for the test.