All theatres, auditoriums and offices in Maharashtra will take in only 50 per cent of their capacity till March 31 amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the state government said in an order today.
Maharashtra reported 25,833 fresh cases of COVID-19 in the 24-hour period till Thursday night, the highest since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.
Today’s order curtailing the capacity in theatres and offices also comes days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray warned people of another strict lockdown if they started going easy on safety rules like not wearing mask. Mr Thackeray repeated his warning today while speaking with reporters. “I see lockdown as an option going ahead. But I trust people of the state to cooperate (and follow the COVID-19 norms voluntarily) like the last time,” he said.
“All private offices except related to health and other essential services to function at 50% capacity…” the order said.
It allowed government and semi-government offices to take a call on staff attendance. However, offices linked to the manufacturing sector will still have to work with reduced staff.
“For the purpose of maintaining social distancing on the production floor, manufacturing units may be allowed to increase the working shifts as approved by the local authorities,” the government said, adding any unit found violating safety rules will have to shut down till the government allows it to reopen.
While the Uddhav Thackeray government is not giving any break-up data or details on hotspot locations, it is suspected that several strains of mutated virus are at work there, which accounts for such sharp rise in numbers.
Overall, there has been a big jump in cases of mutant strains since their presence was detected in India. 158 new cases have been reported over the last 14 days.
After a gap of six months, Dharavi in Mumbai saw a surge in coronavirus cases, the latest data released by the Health authorities show. The slum-dominated area in the heart of the financial capital recorded 30 cases in the last 24 hours. The last time Dharavi, infamous as Asia’s largest slum, saw such a big jump in one-day cases was on September 11 when 33 cases were reported.