Maharashtra government on Thursday clarified that the new Section 144 order issued by the Mumbai police does not imply any new restrictions.
Mumbai Police in a routine order extended the imposition of Section 144 in the city due to spiralling COVID-19 cases. Contrary to news reports that claimed it is a new order and will lead to new restrictions, Aditya Thackeray, Shiv Sena leader and state minister, clarified on Twitter that no new restrictions had been imposed.
This new imposition restricts gatherings and movement of people, except for a list of exemptions and all leeway granted by the Government of Maharashtra's latest unlock guidelines.
Thackeray in his tweet clarified that the "order is an extension" of the unlock guidelines issued on August 31 by the Maharashtra state government.
"...it is considered expedient to issue prohibitory order for restricting any presence or movement of one or more persons in public places or gatherings of any sort anywhere, including religious places to prevent further spread of COVID-19...", the guidelines say.
The guidelines prohibit movement in containment zones, except for essential activities.
Also prohibited are movement of persons except for emergencies, those on government duty, and those providing essential services like:
- Food, milk and ration, and those providing home delivery
- Health services, labs and pharmacies
- E-commerce for essential and non-essential items
- Utilities, such as water, power, telephone and internet
- Energy such as fuel and oil
- Media, ports, financial services and banking
- Warehousing, data and IT services
The order also prohibits non-essential movement except those exempted by the Septemeber edition of the unlock guidelines (Mission Begin Again, as it is called in Maharashtra), whose end the expiration of the order coincides with on September 30.
The September version of Mission Begin Again allows hotels and lodges to operate at 100% capacity; private offices to operate at 30% capacity and unrestricted outdoor physical activity. No permits or permissions are required for interstate travel, and the working of non-essential shops including liquour would continue.
Mumbai has close to a fifth of Maharashtra's million plus cases, at 1,75,886 cases, with 2,352 of them being reported yesterday alone. Mumbai also witnessed 50 new deaths yesterday, taking the total up to 8,277.
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