On Wednesday night, the Maharashtra government issued strict curbs in the state, keeping in mind the swelling cases of the coronavirus infection. To aid the decision, the state government has also furnished a list of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which includes the banning of inter-district and inter-city travel except for emergency or essential purposes. The fresh constraints will be observed from Thursday, 8 PM onwards and remain in force till the 1st of May, 7 AM, as per the orders of the government.
'Break the Chain' initiative undertaken to control COVID tallies
🚨New strict restrictions under #BreakTheChain🚨 To be implemented from 22nd April 2021, 8pm onwards https://t.co/ifyrcQCbnH— CMO Maharashtra (@CMO Maharashtra)1619023853.0
Under the 'Break the Chain' initiative, the official orders read, "The state government is satisfied that the state of Maharashtra is threatened with the spread of Covid-19 virus, and therefore it is imperative to take certain emergency measures to prevent and contain the spread of the virus."
These instructions also entail protocols for weddings, which state that the number of weddings guests cannot exceed 25 and the entire programme must not extend beyond 2 hours. Involved families found flouting the order, will be penalised with a fine of ₹50,000 and the venue will be temporarily shut by the government until further notice.
Further, government and private offices will be allowed to function at only 15% of their total capacity but private organizations involved in providing essential services or are in exempted categories, can operate while keeping basic COVID-19 protocols in mind. The HODs of each department will be at liberty to decide the attendance requirement of their respective office staffers.
Public Transport guidelines involve:
- Tickets/passes to be issued to all govt personnel (State/Central/local), on the basis of govt-issued identity card for travelling in the sub-urban trains
- Tickets/passes to be issued to all medical personnel on the basis of their identity card, issued by the concerned medical organization
- State govt or local government-owned public buses shall ply at 50% of the capacity with no standing passengers
- Buses will be allowed to stop at only two places between their travel destinations
- At bus/trains stoppages where passengers are alighting, everyone shall be stamped on the hand for 14-day home quarantine. Thermal scanners shall be used and anyone with symptoms shall be moved to corona care centres or to a hospital
- Any person needing medical treatment and specially-abled people can be accompanied by one member while using public transport
- Local railway officers/MSRTC officers shall provide all the information that the local Disaster Management Authority may require for screening the people travelling by these trains and alighting in their jurisdiction
Maharashtra's current COVID-19 situation
Maharashtra is observing a new record figure of COVID-19 deaths while the infection's confirmed tally crossed the staggering 4 million-mark on Wednesday along with a spike in the number of active cases, health officials said. The state's fatalities jumped from the previous peak of 519 (April 20) to a new high of 568 on Wednesday, taking the state's overall death toll to 61,911, the highest in the country. Dropping a little from the record high of 68,631 new cases notched on April 18, the state on Wednesday reported 67,468 fresh cases, taking its tally to 40,27,827 as yet.
On the other hand, Mumbai observed a surge in new COVID-19 cases from 7,192 on Tuesday to 7,654 on Wednesday, pushing the city's overall confirmed COVID-19 cases above the 6 lakh-mark; 17 days after it recorded the highest single-day spike of 11,206 cases on April 4. The number of fatalities in Mumbai have been pegged at 62 on Wednesday, taking its overall death toll to 12,508, the highest in the country.
On a slightly brighter note, a total of 54,985 COVID-19 victims have won the battle and returned home, taking the total number of recoveries in the state to 32,68,449. The recovery rate has also shown signs of marginal improvement and is marked at 81.15% as of now!