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Maharashtra COVID surge: Work from home for 50% employees at private offices, other new rules

For over three months, most employees have been working from home for longer hours, dealing with pandemic-related stress and managing household choresPremium
For over three months, most employees have been working from home for longer hours, dealing with pandemic-related stress and managing household chores

  • The government also said that all drama theatres and auditoriums will be operating at 50% capacity
  • BMC announced that it will make the Rapid Antigen Test facility to take samples for Covid-19 testing compulsory for all malls in Mumbai

With Maharashtra reporting over 25,000 fresh Covid-19 cases for two days in a row, the authorities imposed new restrictions across the state on Friday. Noting that the coronavirus situation has become grimmer, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also said that a lockdown is an option but he trusts people to follow the norms on their own.

Private offices to operate in 50% capacity:

As per a directive issued by the state government, all private offices, except related to health and essential services, will function at 50% capacity.

The directive said, "All private offices, except related to health and essential services, will function at 50% capacity.... In case of Government and Semi-government offices, the head of the office to take a decision regarding the attendance ensuring adherence to all Covid-19 norms."

Theatre hall to operate at 50% capacity:

The government also said that all drama theatres and auditoriums will be operating at 50% capacity and one will not be able to enter the premises without wearing proper masks. The authorities need to ensure that all Covid-19 guidelines are being followed at the premises.

The directive said, "All drama theatres and auditoriums to operate on 50% capacity. No entry to be allowed without proper wearing of masks. Temperature measuring devices to be used to ensure that no one enters the premises with fever. Adequate hand sanitizers to be kept at various convenient locations."

It also said, "Drama halls and Auditoriums not to be used for any religious/cultural/ social/political/cultural gathering..... In case of violation of this order, concerned drama theatre/auditorium shall have to remain close for a period until the Covid-19 pandemic stays...."

Rapid Antigen Test compulsory for all Mumbai malls:

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday announced that it will make the Rapid Antigen Test facility to take samples for Covid-19 testing compulsory for all malls in Mumbai. The new rule will come into effect from 22 March.

If visitors don't have a negative Covid-19 test report, they will have to get a Rapid Antigen Test done at the entrance of the shopping mall.

"A team will be designated at the entrance for this very purpose. The details are being worked out," the Mumbai civic body said.

What did the CM say?

The chief minister, meanwhile, said: "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."

Noting that we have the vaccine to act as a shield against the deadly virus this time, the chief minister appealed to people to get vaccinated without fear.

"When the pandemic began last year, there was nothing to fight the virus with," Thackeray said adding, "But now at least we have vaccines as a shield. The priority now is to ensure that everyone is vaccinated. People should come forward to take the vaccine."

Maharashtra on Friday reported as many as 25,681 fresh COVID19 cases, logging over 25,000 cases for the second straight day. With this, the total number of cases is pushed to 24,22,021. On Thursday, the western state recorded 25,833 cases, the highest-ever single-day spike since the pandemic began. The state also witnessed 70 Covid-19 related fatalities pushing the death toll to 53,208. Currently, the total active cases in Maharash stand at 1,77,560.

(With inputs from agencies)









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