Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on March 13 ordered hotels and restaurants in the state to guarantee strict devotion to COVID-19 protocols in their grounds and not force the State to enforce drastic measures like lockdown. Speaking at a virtual meeting joined by representatives of hotel and restaurant associations, shopping Centre groups, the CM said a “lackadaisical” attitude towards outbreak norms had skulked in lately.

“Do not force us to impose a strict lockdown. Consider this as the last warning. Follow all the rules. Everyone has to realize there is a difference between self-discipline and restrictions,” Mr. Thackeray said.

The CM pointed out that crowds had increased in most places since activities resumed in a phased manner from October, and safety rules were not being followed and this had resulted in a steep surge in cases.

Mumbai Municipal Commissioner I.S. Chahal suggested that the hotel and restaurant associations can organize flying squads to check if outbreak norms were being followed. These association said member establishments not adhering to rules will be removed, while shopping center representatives said they could deploy “COVID marshals” to check people in malls, while entry into food courts will be restricted.

Incidentally, Maharashtra on March 13 recorded 15,602 COVID-19 cases and 88 deaths, taking the tally to 22,97,793 and the toll to 52,811.

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Joydev Mishra


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