Mumbai, March (IANS) With the total number of coronaVirus cases touching 17 in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday appealed to all companies to allow their employees to 'work from home' wherever possible.
Making a statement in the Assembly, the CM also asked people to avoid unnecessary travel and avoid crowded places.
He asked all companies that wherever feasible, employees should be allowed to carry out their duties from home in view of the coronavirus concerns among the people.
Besides, all theatres, multiplexes, swimming pools and gymnasiums will be shut in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Nagpur from midnight tonight till March 31, or until further orders.
Additionally, in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad -- where the maximum 10 Covid-19 positive cases have been reported -- even schools will remain shut barring those where SSC/HSC examinations are being conducted, until further orders.
"We will consider postponing school, college and university examinations after a status review over the next few days, and if the situation warrants it, a decision will be taken accordingly," Thackeray said.
The latest development comes a day after the state government directed that all public functions, gathering and events shall be cancelled till further notice in view of coronavirus. Thackeray reiterated on Friday that all permissions given for such functions shall be revoked until the next order.
The new measures are expected to reduce overcrowding in the Mumbai suburban trains, public buses and cabs, besides preventing large gatherings witnessed at other public places like theatres, multiplexes, or crowds at swimming pools and gyms.
However, there is no immediate plan to impose a statewide lockdown on educational institutions in view of the ongoing annual (final) school-college examination seasons, an official from the education department informed.
The two found positive today in Nagpur were among those who came in 'first contact' with one patient already found positive here three days ago. They are admitted to Mayo Hospital for treatment and their condition is stable.
With this, Maharashtra has total of 17 coronavirus cases including 10 in Pune, three each in Mumbai and Nagpur, and one in Thane.
After one person with a history of foreign travel tested positive on Thursday several schools/colleges in Thane advised students against attending classes for the next few days.
Thackeray reiterated that the situation in the state is being monitored closely but there were no immediate plans to impose a shutdown of educational institutions in the state.
Health Minister Rajesh Tope has appealed to people to remain calm and not to resort to panic purchases of masks, sanitizers, medicines, etc, and said that family doctors can easily treat coronaVirus symptoms without the need for quarantine.
Simultaneously, many mosques in Mumbai canceled or truncated the traditional Friday prayers (today), the BCCI has postponed the upcoming IPL series till April 15 and most public places now wear a near-deserted look.