Maharashtra Extends Statewide Lockdown Till July 31 as Coronavirus Cases Continue to Rise

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The Maharashtra government on Monday announced that the entire state will remain under lockdown till July 31 to curb the spread of the coronavirus infection.

Maharashtra, with more than 1.64 lakh novel coronavirus cases, is the worst hit state in the country.

Under the extended lockdown, the government has empowered district collectors and municipal commissioners to impose restrictions on non-essential activities.

The government said movement of people for non-essential activities like shopping and outdoor exercise will be restricted in neighbourhood areas.

An order issued by Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta on said wearing face covers or masks, maintaining social distancing, restricted gatherings, and other measures will continue to prevail. The state government has also advised that work from home should be followed as far as possible.

Mehta's order said private offices can operate with up to 10% strength or 10 people, whichever is more.

The announcement comes a day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray made it clear the lockdown will not be lifted after June 30, when the continuing phase ends.

Thackeray on Sunday had urged the people to not become carefree. "If we behave that way, then coronavirus is awaiting us. Please don't leave homes if there is no urgent work. Locals have started working and in rural areas, movement has started. The farmers are working relentlessly. Marathwada, Vidarabha have raised several complaints about bogus seeds. It is unfortunate and strict action will be taken in this matter,” he had said.

(With inputs from PTI)