Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: Day after the state recorded its highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases this year, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra announced fresh curbs in the state. In its fresh guidelines, the Maharashtra government imposed a ban on all political, religious and social gatherings while said that private offices can function with 50 per cent capacity.

As per the new guidelines, which will stay applicable till March 31, all drama theatres and auditoriums can operate with a 50 per cent capacity but no one will be allowed to enter without wearing masks properly. It added that temperature measuring devices will be used and adequate hand sanitisation facilities should be present at drama theatres and auditoriums.

Following are the complete guidelines announced by the Maharashtra government:

On Thursday, Maharashtra reported nearly 26,000 new coronavirus cases, its highest one-day spike since March last year, following which Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked state officials to ensure that restrictions are properly followed to break the chain of the infection.

"In view of the highest number of cases on Thursday since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, the district administration should speed up contact tracing and implementation of restrictions and safety protocols," he said, as reported by news agency PTI.

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Since February, coronavirus cases across Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai and Pune, have been rising alarmingly. The Union Health Ministry has also expressed concerns over the spike and has held several meetings with the state government.

The Health Ministry has stressed that the virus cannot be taken "for granted", noting that appropriate COVID-19 behaviour must be followed to control the spread of the infection.

"Maharashtra has shown a worrisome trend. The mutant strain has not been found incriminating in this surge in cases. It is just related to reduced testing, tracking and tracing and COVID inappropriate behaviour and large congregations," said ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava earlier, as reported by news agency ANI.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma