Orders banning public gatherings in Mumbai, originally imposed to ensure social distancing in public spaces and enforce the coronavirus lockdown, will be extended till July 15, the police said today. This comes two days after the Maharashtra government extended the lockdown in the state till July 31.
The police have, however, said that exemptions granted by the state and additional exemptions granted to facilitate the phased re-opening of economic activity, under the "Mission Begin Again" banner, will continue.
Cops have already begun enforcing the "2 km rule", which does not allow people to travel more than two kilometres from their homes; those commuting to work or carrying out essential activities have been exempted.
This means shops and establishments that had been allowed to operate, providing they followed SOPs (standard operating procedures), will now continue to remain open even with prohibitory orders in place.
However, while Mumbai residents can heave a sigh of relief, neighbouring areas like Thane, Mira Road and Bhayandar will go into a full lockdown because of a spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Mira Road and Bhayandar in Palghat district, which is adjacent to Mumbai, are governed by the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), while Thane city is governed by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).
Lakhs of people who work in Mumbai but stay in these districts will now have to stay at home. This means that those working in private offices - allowed to re-open with a maximum of 10 per cent of work force - cannot go to work.
Only government employees, and those working for private companies that provide essential services, will be allowed to travel to Mumbai for work.
Dr Vipin Sharma, the Commissioner of the Thane Municipal Corporation, has said the lockdown will run from 7 AM Thursday to 7 AM July 12. During this time, apart from emergency services and people buying perishable goods (such as milk or vegetables), everyone has been told not to leave their home.
Some exceptions have been announced for industrial units as well. The order also states that those found violating home quarantine rules will be sent to a corporation-run quarantine centre.
MBMC lockdown orders came into force from 5 PM and will be in force till midnight of July 10. During this period shops selling milk and medicines can stay open and home deliveries will be allowed, albeit with conditions.
Earlier in the day people were seen stocking up basic supplies ahead of the lockdown coming into force.
Maharashtra, the worst-affected state in this coronavirus outbreak, has over 1.74 lakh confirmed cases, with 7,855 of those being deaths linked to the virus. Mumbai, which was the worst-affected city until a few days ago, reported 903 new cases on Tuesday to take its total to over 77,000
Across India nearly six lakh cases have been detected, including 17,400 deaths.
With input from PTI