Maharashtra extends coronavirus lockdown until July 31

State govt has empowered collectors, municipal commissioners to enforce restrictions

uddhav pti Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray | PTI

The Maharashtra government announced on Monday that the coronavirus lockdown in the state would be extended until July 31.

Maharashtra leads in the number of cases of COVID-19 and fatalities from the virus. As of Monday morning, Maharashtra has recorded 1,64,626 cases of coronavirus and 7,429 deaths. Maharashtra's COVID-19 numbers are nearly twice as much as the next worst-affected state, Delhi.

"It is further directed that the movement of persons for the purposes of non-essential activities like shopping and the outdoor exercises, shall be restricted within the neighbourhood area limits with all necessary prescribed mandatory precautions of wearing masks, social distancing and personal hygiene," NDTV quoted a Maharashtra government statement as saying. Unrestricted movement will be allowed for office-goers and those who are facing emergencies.

The government has also empowered district collectors and commissioners of municipal corporations to enforce restrictions to curb non-essential activities in their administrative zones.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced on Sunday that the lockdown curbs in the state would continue beyond June 30.

Uddhav Thackeray had said there will be some restrictions in the state after June 30 but more relaxations will be offered gradually. "The state has now started the unlock process under the Mission Begin Again. There will be some restrictions even after June 30, but eventually more and more relaxations will be offered to the people," Uddhav had said in a televised address.

"The relaxations will be offered on case-to-case basis. For example, passenger transportation will continue to have some restrictions but some local services will be resumed or allowed to function,” said a senior official from the CM's office.

Thackeray emphasised on maintaining stringent discipline as COVID-19 cases are still being reported in large numbers.