In a big development, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced that grocery shops and medical stores will remain open for 24 hours, amid pan-India lockdown. The 21-day lockdown declared by PM Modi is applicable to all states, districts, and villages.
All shops selling essential commodities, groceries and medicines are allowed to operate 24hours.— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) March 26, 2020
It is mandatory for them to fully adhere to social distancing measures, enforce gaps with marking & ensure sanitation & cleanliness.
The decision was taken in a meeting held on March 26 with CM Uddhav Thackeray and other senior officials. However, the concerned shops will be directed to take care of the health of customers. The shops will have to follow guidelines issued by the government regarding social distancing, disinfection and maintaining hygiene.
With 124 confirmed coronavirus cases and three deaths, the state of Maharashtra has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Furthermore, the total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases soared to 649 across the country on Thursday (including 593 active cases, 42 cured/discharged people) and 13 deaths.
Amid the 21 days nationwide lockdown, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday compared the current condition to a war-like situation. CM Thackeray also assured that there is sufficient stock of essential commodities and people need not worry about it.
Addressing the citizens Thackeray said, "Today we are fighting against those who are invisible. This is a war between citizens and this pandemic. And we can defeat only by staying back at home. We have now seen the seriousness of the coronavirus diseases. Until now we saw this problem in a negative light."
In his address to the nation on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown in the entire country effective from midnight of March 25 to deal with the spread of coronavirus, saying that "social distancing" is the only option to deal with the disease, which spreads rapidly.