With an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases being reported in Mumbai’s neighbouring cities and satellite townships, a more stringent ten-day lockdown has been imposed in Thane and in Mira Bhayandar.
The stringent lockdown in Thane city will be in force from 7 AM on July 2 till 7 AM on July 12, while that in Mira Bhayandar will be in force from July 1 till midnight on July 10.
A notification issued by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) on Tuesday evening stated that all commercial establishments, except health-related establishments such as hospitals, medical stores, and dispensaries, will be shut.
All non-essential shops allowed to operate on an odd-even basis during Unlock 1.0, as well as salons which had reopened two days ago, will now again down their shutters during this ten-day period. Those selling essential supplies like milk, vegetables, fruits, groceries, meats, and fish are, however, exempt from the lockdown.
Buses, autorickshaws, and taxis, as well as private buses operating from Thane, will not be allowed to ply during this period. The only exceptions will be for vehicles providing medical emergency services, or those providing essentials.
All private offices, garages, warehouses, godowns, factories, and commercial establishments will remain closed. Flours mills, dairy manufacturing units, petrol pumps, CNG, and LPG gas agencies will continue to function. However, only essential vehicles will be able to refill fuel at petrol and diesel pumps.
Wine shops will be shut, but home delivery of liquor will continue. There will be strict restrictions on gatherings of more than five people in public places, and police will maintain strict vigilance at the 318 hotspots in Thane city.
People engaged in essential services, online deliveries, press, media, pharmacy companies, and hospitals will be allowed to leave and enter the city but will have to take an e-pass from the Thane police.
With the number of COVID-19 cases rising, TMC commissioner Vipin Sharma said the corporation would acquire one lakh rapid antigen testing kits within two days to increase the number of tests being carried out. The decision was taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in a meeting with guardian minister Ekanath Shinde recently, said Sharma.
Sharma said the kits would be used for increased testing in containment zones and hotspot areas. TMC officials said that health department officials will track all high-risk contacts of COVID-19 patients, to help break the virus chain. TMC officials further stated that as on June 30, the total number of positive cases had surged to 8,772, of which 3,839 are active cases.
Similarly, concerned with the rising number of cases in the twin-city, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has also decided to impose a complete lockdown in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
As per orders promulgated by newly appointed civic chief Dr. Vijay Rathod, while groceries, supermarkets, chicken-mutton shops, vegetable, fish and fruit markets will continue to remain closed, medical stores can operate from 9 am to 5 pm.
Apart from hospitals and clinics, medical stores having licenses for a 24-hour operation will continue to remain open as usual, but in strict compliance with social distancing norms.
Home delivery of essentials has been allowed between 9 am to 11 pm. Flour mills will operate as per usual routine, even as milk booths can remain open only from 5 am to 10 am.
“The lockdown is needed. However, the implementation should be in a planned manner to ensure that none of the citizens are inconvenienced,” said legislator Geeta Jain.
“While implementing the lockdown, the administration should also tackle the key issue of the workforce which commutes in and out of the city.” said deputy mayor- Hasmukh Gehlot. The total number of Covid-19 cases registered by the MBMC has climbed to 3,165, of which 2,427 cases have been registered in a month. There are 1,129 containment zones in the twin-city. The Thane (rural) police have also intensified patrolling to restrict unnecessary vehicular and pedestrian movement in the twin-city.