Citing a popular event from the epic Ramayan, a day ahead of "Hanuman Jayanti", Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Tuesday asked people to not step out like the revered devotee of Lord Ram to "lift hill", but stay indoors to avoid the coronavirus spread.
Mr Pawar also appealed to members of the Muslim community to observe "Shab-e-Barat", when they visit graveyards to remember the dead, by offering prayers at their homes on Wednesday.
"Today, to protect the people from coronavirus, none needs to (step out of home and) lift hills. Instead, they should stay inside their homes on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti (to contain the spread of the viral disease)," an official statement quoted Mr Pawar as saying.
According to the epic Ramayan, when Lord Ram's brother Laxman lay motionless after being hit by an arrow from demon Ravana's son Meghnad, Lord Hanuman was asked to bring a herb "Sanjivani" (a kind of panacea) to restore the life in the wounded Laxman from the Dronagiri mountain.
Unable to locate the "Sanjivani", Lord Hanuman lifted the entire mountain and flew back.
Wishing people on the occasion of the World Health Day, Mr Pawar said that people should celebrate their festivals by staying inside their homes until further notice.
Noting that the government has sealed certain areas to prevent transmission of the coronavirus, Mr Pawar said that the violators will be jailed.
"The government will not take further risk on coronavirus. Serious offences will be registered against those responsible for the spread of coronavirus and they will have to suffer the consequences of it," he stated.