Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on Friday announced that a night curfew will be imposed across Maharashtra from March 28 in order to control the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 infection in the state.

In a statement, the state government said that the decision has been taken to "avoid congestion and implement some strict measures" to control the spread of coronavirus in Maharashtra. 

"Night curfew to be imposed in Maharashtra from the night of 28th March. A separate order in this regard will be issued by the Disaster management and rehabilitation department soon," the Maharashtra's Chief Minister Office (CMO) said, as reported by news agency ANI.

This comes hours after Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar held a meet to review the COVID-19 situation in the state and warned that the state government will be forced to impose a lockdown if people continue to flout safety norms.

He said that the state government is concerned over the rise in cases and will take a decision whether a lockdown needs to be imposed in Maharashtra again to control coronavirus after April 2.

"We are going to monitor the coronavirus cases in the state till April 2 and if we observe that people are not following social distancing norms, then the government won't be left with any option and we might go for lockdown," he said earlier in the day, as reported by India Today.

Maharashtra government issues guidelines for upcoming festive season

The state government also issued guidelines for the upcoming festive season -- Holi, Easter and Eid -- in Maharashtra and said that crowding should be avoided. It said that religious or cultural programmes will not be organised during Holi and asked people to celebrate Easter and Good Friday "in a simple manner".

"The festival should be celebrated in a simple manner, observing social distancing norms and without coming together in any way given the increasing spread of COVID-19. Rang Panchami too should be celebrated in a simple manner," the state government said in a statement, as reported by news agency PTI.

"No religious programme that can attract crowd in any way should be organised. Besides, procession should not be taken out," it added.

Maharashtra has been reporting a spike in coronavirus cases since February this year. On Thursday, Maharashtra reported nearly 36,000 fresh coronavirus cases, the biggest single-day since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. 

As per the information available at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the novel coronavirus has affected 25 lakh people and claimed over 53,000 lives in Maharashtra so far. Currently, the state has over 2.64 active COVID-19 cases. 

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma