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Maharashtra govt imposes stricter norms for hotels, cinema halls, offices amid Covid surge

A woman wearing a protective mask walks past a graffiti amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on a street in Navi Mumbai, India (Reuters)Premium
A woman wearing a protective mask walks past a graffiti amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on a street in Navi Mumbai, India (Reuters)

  • Nobody will be allowed inside these establishments without wearing a mask and a temperature check, the state government said in a notification
  • As far as possible, employees should be asked to work from home, the state notification said

Cinema halls, hotels, restaurants and offices except those related to health and essential services in Maharashtra will function at 50 percent capacity till March 31, the state government said on Monday.

Violation of norms will result in the shutting down of the establishment as long as the Central government's notification of the COVID-19 pandemic as a "disaster" is in force, it said.

Nobody will be allowed inside these establishments without wearing a mask and a temperature check, the state government said in a notification as Maharashtra again recorded 15,000-plus new cases of infection on Monday.

Establishments (cinema halls, hotels, offices) will ensure they have enough personnel to enforce the mask rule as well as physical distancing by all visitors.

These restrictions will be applicable to shopping malls too.

The 50 per cent capacity rule will not apply to offices dealing with health and other essential services.

As far as possible, employees should be asked to work from home, the state notification said.

No social, cultural, religious gatherings will be allowed, while no more than 50 people will be allowed to be present at weddings. Action will be taken against the owners of premises (such as wedding halls) if these norms are violated, the government said.

For the last rites of a person, not more than 20 people will be allowed to be present.

In the case of home isolation, the patient must inform local authorities about the medical professional under whose supervision he or she is.

A board will be put up on the door for 14 days indicating the presence of COVID-19 patient at the location. Patients will be stamped "home quarantine" on the hand.

If patients violate these norms, they will be shifted to covid care centres.

Management bodies of all religious places have been asked to decide and declare the maximum number of visitors per hour they will allow, depending on the availability of space for movement and gatheringwith proper distancing.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said fresh lockdown is no answer to the rising COVID-19 cases in the state, but restrictions will be made stricter.

Though the number of cases has seen a rise in the last few days, the mortality rate remains low, he noted.

Maharashtra recorded this year's highest one-day spike of 16,620 new cases on Sunday.

"Lockdown is not an option but restrictions will be made more strict," Tope told reporters here.

As much as 85 per cent of new patients are asymptomatic and hence most of them have been advised home quarantine, he added.

"Tracking, testing and treatment is being followed. The number of tests has also been increased. Weddings and social gatherings are being restricted," he said.

"People should also observe self-discipline by ensuring physical distancing, wearing face masks and washing hands regularly. Follow rules to avoid new lockdown," the minister said.

Vaccination drive in the state is also picking up and over one lakh persons are being given the dose daily, Tope said.

"There is no shortage of vaccines. All senior citizens should get vaccinated at the earliest," he said.

Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu continue to report a surge in COVID-19 daily cases, accounting for 78.41 per cent of the new cases, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.

A total of 26,291 new cases were registered in a day. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 16,620 (accounting for 63.21 per cent of the daily new cases). It is followed by Kerala with 1,792 while Punjab reported 1,492 new cases.

With agency inputs

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