Coronavirus outbreak (Photo Credit: File Image)
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said that the government offices in the state will remain open and there would be also no restrictions on public transport. However, later he added that the government might have to take some stern decisions of shutting down train, bus services if people don't refrain from non-essential travel. Earlier today, a 64-year old man died in Maharashtra from coronavirus. This the third case of death due to the virus. The patient, whose wife is stable, is the first COVID-19 death in Maharashtra. While a 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi who returned from Saudi Arabia had died on Tuesday last, a 68-year-old woman in Delhi who had tested positive had passed away at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital on Friday night.
The Pune police has also appealed to owners of shops, eateries and bars in Maharashtra’s second largest city to down shutters as a social distancing measure to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Tuesday. As on Tuesday, Pune and neighbouring Pimpri-Chinchwad have 16 Covid-19 patients.
While police, in the morning, issued orders to shops and other establishments to down shutters, an official later in the day clarified that it was not a compulsion but an appeal. "We are approaching eateries, restaurants and shops with large footfalls and asking them to remain closed voluntarily. In view of the current situation, social distancing is an essential tool to contain further spread of the virus," said Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shisve.
He added that should these establishments remain open, then it was imperative for them to adhere to guidelines and protocol in place to combat the spread of the virus. He admitted that police personnel in some parts of Pune issued notices for closure of establishments earlier on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Pune Restaurant and Hoteliers Association said restaurants and bars in their fold will voluntarily remain closed between March 18 and 20.
Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram had, on Monday, asked private firms to allow their employees to work from home. Trusts overseeing the Shrimant Dagdu Sheth Halwai Ganpati Temple, Mahalaxmi Temple, Kasba Ganpati, Shirdi Saibaba Temple among others decided to close their portals till further notice.
Pune Retailers Traders Association has decided to keep shops closed for three days.