Maharashtra coronavirus curfew starts midnight; 'won't tolerate crowds'

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray addressing the media | Photo: Twitter (@CMOMaharashtra)
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday put Maharashtra under curfew Monday midnight, saying state's attempts to contain the coronavirus had reached a "turning point".

"We will be enforcing curfew in the entire state from Monday midnight. The next few days would be extremely important. We are also sealing borders of all districts to check the spread of coronavirus. Supply of food, grains, cereals, milk and medicines will continue from one district to another. No other movement will be allowed," Thackeray said.

He also appealed to citizens to stay at home for their own safety in the wake of coronavirus outbreak in the state. "The way we clapped yesterday, it was, in fact, a siren of warning. We need to observe complete restraint at this moment, or we will regret forever. This is the turning point in our fight against coronavirus," Thackeray said.

"We will not tolerate crowd in public places at any cost. Except in case of an emergency, no one will be allowed to roam on streets. If these guidelines are violated, people will face legal action," Thackeray said.

He, however, assured that all essential services will remain open during the time of curfew. All the essential services, medical stores, veterinary doctors and their shops will continue to operate during the curfew.

"We will allow only essential services. If we cannot check the coronavirus outbreak at this moment, we may face the fate of some European countries," he said.

He also said home quarantine is mandatory as it is the advisory from health experts and government. He said all types of religious centres will remain closed as well.

"We need to win the battle against coronavirus. The state government is also training anganwadi (state-run women and child care centres) and ASHA (accredited social health activist) workers and home guards as the state would need extra manpower in the fight against COVID-19, he said.

The chief minister said he has also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to suspend domestic flight services.

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