Total lockdown of town until March 31

Nagpur: In order to avoid coronavirus from becoming a full-blown outbreak, on Friday, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) commissioner Tukaram Mundhe announced the city’s complete lockdown under the Outbreak Diseases Act of 1897 until 31 March. The order followed the decision of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to lock up all major cities in the state, Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri, and Nagpur.

Collector Shailesh Naval also ordered the closure of all license rooms, wine shops, and restaurants in Amravati until 25 March. Section 144 was placed in Chandrapur from Friday and all the establishments were ordered from Saturday evening to observe full clampdown.

The Nagpur order means that all businesses would be shut down until March 31, except for critical services such as groceries and medicines, and there would be a partial curfew-like situation in the region.

Taxi companies such as Ola, Uber, and Autorickshaws will not be allowed to ply. Mundhe said the administration should require’ home delivery’ of food from restaurants and hotels, as well as similar services from food supply chains such as Zomato and Swiggy.

Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Kumar told that industrial establishments in and outside the city will be closed until March 31.

“Any other industry that falls within 15 km of Nagpur city limits will also be shut down. Nonetheless, in medical and other emergency circumstances, we would require autos to ply,”he said.

MahaMetro has announced on Sunday that no Metro services will be open, and on Saturday trains will operate at 30-minute intervals. Also, NMC will keep its city bus service closed on Sunday and only run limited services. Even BSNL had all of its customer support centers closed. Police commissioner Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay announced that the city would strictly enforce all orders given by the collector and NMC chief, and bring those who violate to book.

To explain the decision to close all institutions, Mundhe said this would ensure that people do not meet in one place and avoid coronavirus spreading. “All facilities will be closed, including industrial units and private offices, until 31 March. It was done to maintain social distance in the face of threats from Covid-19, “he said while warning of action under IPC Section 188, where an individual can be held behind bars for a month.

Earlier, guardian minister Nitin Raut and senior police and IAS officers reviewed Covid-19 preparations. Given closure orders, he threatened action against shopkeepers holding their establishments open.

Home minister Anil Deshmukh raided Haldiram and Sujal Saoji on Thursday and directed crimes against both of them. Cops had later reported crimes against several parcel delivery restaurants and even against Zomato.

Raut said cars with outside identification numbers will be stopped at checkpoints on news of the city borders being sealed for outsiders and their passengers will be interviewed. “No restriction is imposed on getting to Nagpur. There will be no stoppage of vehicles with city identification numbers. Suburban areas such as Wadi and Kamptee are being considered for lockdown, “he said.

The state government has already closed down malls, theatres, schools and colleges, bars, restaurants, amusement parks, and other public meeting places. “Residents should not at any expense leave their homes, except for vital services. All mass meeting areas, including vegetable markets, will be shut down and even morning walking or jogging would be banned. NMC assistant commissioners along with local police will be monitoring the whole city closely to avoid people from coming out of their homes, “said the NMC commissioner.

Additionally, the government has agreed to come down hard on people smoking on public roads. “Our Nuisance Detection Squads (NDS) will keep watch with cops over these events. Those spitting will get an Rs1,000 fine on the spot, “added Mundhe.

Speaking of government orders to work with 25 percent of the workforce, vice-chancellor of Nagpur University SP Kane said they should first ask workers if they want to volunteer. “Accordingly, we will employ them in shifts of two to three hours each.”In a further development, the Divisional Deputy Controller of Legal Metrology Department, DL Kove, asked pharmacy shops to demonstrate the availability of masks and sanitizers outside their establishments, given their demand.

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