Cracking down on lockdown violations, 30 migrant workers from Mumbai were nabbed in Kolhapur by police authorities on Thursday, report sources. The migrants were reportedly travelling in a truck which claimed to be carrying essential services towards Bengaluru. Sources reported all migrants have been sent into quarantine and the driver has been booked.
Earlier in the day, Home Minister Amit Shah asked Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla to speak to all states' chief secretaries and DGPs where lockdown has been violated. States like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan have been highlighted by the Home Minister where most lockdown violations have taken place. Sources report that Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has warned the Home Minister that the fight against COVID-19 could be lost if these incidents are allowed to happen.
On Tuesday, around 2,000 migrant workers gathered at Bandra station, under the illusion of boarding 'Jansdharan Express' trains to UP, Bengal, and Bihar. Mumbai police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the crowds and have arrested activist Vinay Dubet and a Marathi news channel reporter for spreading fake news leading to the mass lockdown violation. The Maharashtra government is rolling out an economic package for migrant labourers while the BMC is setting up community kitchens to feed more homeless migrant labourers in Bandra.
Prior to PM Modi's announcement extending the lockdown till May 3, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, announced that lockdown will be extended in Maharashtra at least till April 30. Moreover, he added that while it is possible for the government to lift the lockdown in certain places, lockdown in major areas like Mumbai will continue and on a stricter level. He warned people to maintain social distancing to avoid another extension of the lockdown. The state tops the country with 3202 cases and 194 deaths.
On March 14, the Thackeray government invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act declaring the Coronavirus as an epidemic - declaring all gyms, swimming pools, malls, theatres, pubs shut in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Pimpri-Chinchwad till March 31 amid the rising cases of Coronavirus. The government also shut all educational institutions and postponed all exams, except the 10 & 12th board exams. With the railways shutting down its services on March 22 marking 'Janta Curfew', the Maharashtra government extended a state-wide curfew, stopping all transport services across districts.