Mumbai: As the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to rise, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday announced that gyms, malls, cinema halls, auditoriums, and swimming pools will remain closed in major metros from tomorrow.
The decision is being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Maharashtra, which has already seen 14 coronavirus cases until now.
“All gyms, malls, cinema halls, auditoriums, and public swimming pools in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Pune, and Pimpri Chinchwad will remain closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” CM Uddhav Thackeray said.
In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, shopping malls and eateries in the financial capital have become proactive and started to take preventive measures to avoid the dreaded global pandemic.
Shopping malls have almost become ‘ghost towns’ with a sharp decline in footfall, the Andheri (W) Infinity mall, which records a footfall of 30,000 regularly on weekdays and 50,000 on weekends claimed to have recorded less than 10,000 visitors in two days.
As a preventive measure, the mall authorities have initiated awareness drive in the mall. At Infiniti Mall (Malad), the administration has put up posters and banners citing precautionary measures and informing Mumbaikars of the importance of sanitation.
Security guards wore face masks and gloves while frisking the visitors in some of the malls in suburban Mumbai.
Mumbai University (MU) is likely to postpone semester examinations that were to start from March 23. The varsity has cancelled all functions, seminars, workshops and conferences till further notice.
Maharashtra Legislative Assembly speaker Nana Patole had suggested that the government pre-pone the exams of Classes 1 to 9, and junior and senior colleges, in view of the outbreak. However, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said it was not possible as of now.
Thackeray, who reviewed implementation of the containment plan put in place to curb coronavirus infection across the state, said on Friday evening that the government could not consider, at least for the next 15 days, bringing forward these exams.
The next fortnight is crucial for effectively implementing measures to prevent the spread of the diseaseand to treat patients who have tested positive.
Earlier this week, Maharashtra’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope also said the cabinet has decided that the Indian Premier League (IPL) should either be postponed or played behind closed doors for the same reason.
As of Friday morning, the total number of COVID-19 cases reported in Maharashtra stands at 14, which includes nine from Pune, three from Mumbai, one from Thane and another from Nagpur.