New Delhi: The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government increased restrictions on operation timings of grocery shops on Monday (April 20) and indicated that the Chief Minister is due to take a decision on imposing complete lockdown in the state amid rapidly brising COVID-19 cases.
The decision of increasing cubs including limiting grocery shop timings was taken in a COVID-19 review meeting chaired by Deputy CM Ajit Pawar.
As per the sources, the high-level cabinet meeting of Maharashtra government to be chaired by the chief Minister himself is likely to take place on Tuesday (April 20) afternoon as well.
The meeting is likely to discuss all the COVID-19 related issues including the increasing cases in the state, number of beds, oxygen and supply of remdesivir.
“We need to stop people from moving around without any reason. For that, a decision has been taken to allow grocery shops to remain open for only four hours so that people do not roam around throughout the day in the name of buying groceries,” Health Minister Rajesh Tope told mediapersons after the meeting.
Adding to this the Health Minister also hinted towards the government implementing additional curbs including restricted timings of essential services with the aim of breaking the chain of the virus.
“Restrictions must be made stricter till April 30 considering the crowding and current COVID-19 situation. Instructions have also been given to the police to stop people moving around without any reason and get rid of unnecessary crowding,” Tope said on Monday.
Earlier, Vijay Wadettiwar, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister revealed that the government is observing the Delhi government's six-day complete lockdown.
“Based on that, the government will make an announcement. This is not a lockdown. Many traders had opposed the lockdown. But today, traders or those providing essentials services and small shop owners are demanding 100 percent lockdown. This information has been shared with the CM, who is expected to take a decision on complete lockdown in two days after consulting Cabinet colleagues,” he said.
Wadettiwar added that, “The curfew has not served any purpose as cases are on the rise. This is not a complete lockdown. Many traders were against complete lockdown, but now traders, shops selling groceries, political parties and common people are demanding complete lockdown. This has been conveyed to CM and he will take a final decision after discussing with all ministers.”
Meanwhile, India registered 2,59,170 new COVID-19 cases and 1,761 deaths in the last 24 hours, the data by the Union Health Ministry showed on Tuesday (April 20, 2021) morning.