MUMBAI: In the midst of Maharashtra's intense COVID-19 crisis, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray today announced that the state government would clamp Section 144 for 15 days starting at 8 pm tomorrow.
Thackeray said in a video address that the state government was constantly improving the healthcare system, but that it is under strain. Medical oxygen and beds have fallen short and demand for Remdesivir has risen.
In immediate cases of security danger or emergency, Section 144 Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) is imposed, prohibiting the gathering of five or more persons in any area where it has been imposed.
Emergency services, public transportation such as buses and trains will remain operational, as would gas stations, financial institutions affiliated to SEBI, and construction work would continue. Hotel and restaurant operations will be suspended, with only take-away and home delivery permitted.
A weekend lockout, in addition to regular night curfews, is already in place in the state, which is dealing with a second COVID-19 surge.
Last week, CM Thackeray spoke at an all-party conference hinting at the possibility of imposing an extended lockdown in the state to stem the tide of cases.
Maharashtra, which has the most active COVID-19 cases (5,93,042), has complained about vaccine shortage and has asked the Centre to send a larger batch of vaccines to the state.
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