Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: The Uddhav Thackeray government on Sunday imposed a weekend lockdown and night curfew in Maharashtra amid the alarming rise in coronavirus cases across the state. Making the announcement, Maharashtra Minister Aslam Shaikh said that the night curfew will begin at 8 pm in the night and will continue till 7 am in the morning.

"Only essential services will be permitted. Restaurants are permitted only for take away and parcel services. For offices, employees will have to work from home. The detailed SOP will be released soon," he said, as reported by news agency ANI.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik said that SOPs will be implemented from Monday at 8 PM. He was quoted saying to ANI, "Gathering of more than 5 persons is prohibited. Government offices will work at 50% capacity. Private vehicles are permitted to run on 50% sitting capacity."

This announcement came a day after the state reported its biggest spike in coronavirus cases. On Saturday, Maharashtra reported 49,447 new coronavirus cases. The surge in covid cases has taken the state tally to 29.52 lakh. During the same time, In the last 277 fatalities were reported which took the state's death toll to 55,656.

Currently, the state has reported 4.01 lakh active coronavirus cases and more than 21.57 lakh and 18,994 people are in home institutional quarantine, according to the Maharashtra Health Department.

Earlier, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray warned that the state might impose another lockdown in the state due to the surge in cases. On Saturday, he said that to control the spread of the coronavirus, strict measures will be taken.

He said, "if all people, be it private offices or shops, had implemented our directives of staggered duty hours, then maybe the situation would not have reached such an alarming level," reported news agency PTI.

Thackeray also said that the government is considering diverting all industrial use oxygen supply for medical use.

Posted By: Deeksha Sharma