Coronavirus: Maharashtra orders closure of malls, cinema halls in five cities until 31 March

March 13, 2020

Maharashtra government on Friday declared the coronavirus as an epidemic in five metropolitan cities - Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune & Pimpri Chinchwad. The malls, gyms, cinema halls, swimming polls will be closed down from Friday night onwards in these cities until 31 March.

"Wherever possible, corporates and owners of the private companies should allow employees to work from home from Monday. Avoid large gatherings," said CM Uddhav Thackeray.

Making the announcement in the state Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the government was invoking the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 from midnight.

The Health Ministry confirmed the number of confirmed cases in India at 81.

He also informed the House that so far 17 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the state — three each in Mumbai and Nagpur, 10 in Pune and one in Thane.

The person who tested positive for the virus in Pune had travel history to the United States, an official said. He further pointed out that barring one, all coronavirus patients in Pune had traveled abroad and there was no "local transmission" of the disease as such.

Thackeray announced that schools in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad areas will remain shut till further orders but the SSC exams in those schools will continue as per schedule though.

The move comes close on the heels of similar decisions being taken by the governments of Kerala, Delhi and Karnataka.

Karnataka state government on Friday announced lock-down of malls, cinema theatres, pubs and night clubs for a week. This, after the country's first coronavirus fatality was a 76-year-old man from Karnataka.

Delhi government on Thursday announced that schools, colleges and cinema halls would be closed till 31 March.

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