In Focus

Mumbai Braces For Weekend Lockdown, WFH, Section 144

By Ruchi Verma

On 4 April 2021, the Maharashtra government announced a weekend lockdown across the state from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday in an attempt to curb the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state.

India reported a record 93,249 fresh Covid-19 cases on Sunday pushing the overall tally to 1,24,85,509, according to MoHFW. The death toll from the deadly infection jumped to 1,64,623. Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Haryana are states of "grave concern".

Delhi recorded 3,567 COVID-19 cases on Saturday and the positive rate continued to rise to 4.48 per cent from 4.11 per cent a day ago while 10 more people succumbed to the deadly virus. According to official data, the positivity rate has mounted from just below one per cent to 4.48 per cent in the last two weeks.

In Maharashtra, apart from the weekend lockdown, strict restrictions will be in force from Monday 8 pm onwards, said Minority Affairs Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik to reporters after a cabinet meeting.

He maintained that night curfew would continue and prohibitory orders issued under Section 144 will be force during the day throughout the week. "Apart from the weekend lockdown, strict restrictions will be in force from 8 pm on Monday, under which shopping malls, bars, restaurants, small shops will be open only for take-aways and parcels. Government offices will be allowed to function only at 50 per cent of their capacity," he said.

Also, industries and production sector, vegetable markets will function with standard operating procedures and construction sites will operate only if there is accommodation facility for workers, he added.

While theatres, drama theatres will be shut, film and television shootings will continue only provided there is no crowding. Parks and playgrounds will also remain closed, he said. Religious places will have to follow the SoPs while public transport system will remain functional.

Work from home will be encouraged for offices, except for insurance, mediclaim, electricity and civic offices, said Mumbai city guardian minister Aslam Shaikh. Essential services, however, have been exempted from the existing night curfew.

On 25 April 2020, marking the successful completion of exactly a month since the national lockdown began, The Draft, in conjunction with DraftCraft Films, released 'Lights, Sound ... Lockdown' - a documentary capturing 'Mumbai In The Time Of COVID-19' at Ground Zero.