Maharashtra tightens COVID-19 curbs; night curfew from tomorrow
Maharashtra has announced a slew of fresh restrictions from January 10, including a night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am. During the curfew, the movement of people and vehicles will be restricted, except for essential services. Separately, gyms, swimming pools, beauty salons, spas, museums, zoos, and amusement parks will remain shut at all times.
Why does it matter?
- Maharashtra is the worst-hit Indian state in terms of absolute number of COVID-19 cases and fresh infections.
- Daily infections have risen nearly 28 times over a fortnight.
- Maharashtra accounts for 1,009 of India's 3,623 cases involving the more contagious Omicron variant of coronavirus.
- Maharashtra may consider a lockdown if the daily demand for medical oxygen exceeds 800 metric tonnes.
Critical to adopt emergency actions: Maharashtra government
The people of Maharashtra are threatened by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, particularly with the introduction of the Omicron strain, said a state government notification. "Therefore it is imperative to take certain emergency measures to prevent and contain the spread of the virus."
What are the other restrictions?
Between 5 am to 11 pm (non-curfew hours), no movement in groups of five or more is permitted. Eateries, restaurants, shopping malls, and auditoriums will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity. Schools and colleges will be closed until February 15 barring activities linked to Class X/XII board examinations. Private offices can operate with up to 50% attendance and only fully-vaccinated employees are allowed.
Only 50 guests allowed at weddings
Only up to 50 people are allowed to attend marriage-related gatherings. Social, religious, cultural, and political gatherings will also be capped at 50 people. Up to 20 people will be allowed to attend funerals and last rites.
Be vigilant, says Maharashtra CM
"We again stand at a juncture where we are battling a COVID-19 wave," tweeted Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. " He requested everyone to be vigilant, to wear masks, and get vaccinated. "I reiterate that we want to curtail unnecessary crowding but not impose any lockdown," tweeted Thackeray. "The fact is that no restrictions will be effective unless we all adhere to COVID protocols."
What is the COVID-19 scenario in India?
As of January 8, 2022, the number of active cases in India stood at 5,90,611. The death toll now stands at 4,83,790. In the last 24 hours, 1,59,632 new cases were reported. The daily positivity rate and Weekly positivity rate stood at 10.21% and 6.77%, respectively. The state with the most Omicron cases is Maharashtra (1,009), followed by Delhi (513) and Karnataka (441).