Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday stated that the state could witness a sharp increase in the number of Coronavirus cases in April. Currently, Maharashtra is the worst-hit state in India with 44 positive cases and one death being reported in the state so far. Meanwhile, CM Uddhav Thackeray has urged the people of the state not to step out of their homes in order to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
In order to avoid mass gatherings, the Maharashtra government has also instructed offices to work with 50% workforce and adviced work from home for the rest. Malls, gyms, theatres, and educational institutions in the state have been shut until further notice. The government has also advised citizens to avoid unnecessary travel. On Thursday, the Western and Central Railway suspended its AC local trains' services till March 31.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act declaring the Coronavirus as an epidemic, as announced by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Informing the state Assembly of the number of positive cases detected at that time, he declared all the schools to be shut in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad till further notice.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged citizens to implement a nationwide 'Janta Curfew' - a curfew by the people and for the people - on Sunday from 7 AM to 9 PM to avoid mass gatherings in an attempt to contain the Coronavirus spread. The Prime Minister stated that people should stay in their homes on March 22 while the Janta Curfew is implemented and avoid going out unless extremely important. PM Modi added that the Janta Curfew will help us prepare for the upcoming challenges.
Addressing the nation on Thursday, PM Modi said, "Today, I ask you all for you support to implement the Janata Curfew. Janata Curfew is a curfew of the people and by the people implemented by the people itself. This Sunday, that is after two days - March 22, morning 7 am to 9 pm in the night, all citizens should follow the Janta Curfew."