In an attempt to bring the spiralling coronavirus infections under control, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday imposed several new restrictions.
With the state adding over 50,000 coronavirus cases daily over the last two weeks, ministers in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government had indicated the day before that a new lockdown was imminent.
However, chief minister Thackeray did not announce the new restrictions himself, unlike last time. The government notification also did not use the word 'lockdown'.
The new restrictions under the government's `Break- the-Chain' program will come into effect from Thursday 8 pm and will remain effective till 7 am on May 1.
Who will be allowed on the streets of Mumbai during this period?
As to the inter-city and inter-district travel ban, the exemption will be made for travel for a medical emergency, essential services and funeral or medical attendance.
As to travel by local trains in Mumbai, the government had tightened the rules on April 13, saying that only those working in the essential services can travel.
Travelling will be allowed with 50 per cent capacity of the vehicle.
Passengers of private buses (who are allowed to travel) will have to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days after they reach their destination.
Bus operators will have to stamp the passengers' hands to indicate they are supposed to stay at home for 14 days.
Colour code and stickers for travelling in Mumbai
In light of the restrictions, the Mumbai Police has colour-coded essential workers and services to ensure that they can commute smoothly.
There are three colours that have been assigned to vehicles. Doctors, nurses and others related to the medical profession including medical supplies and equipment that have been assigned will have to sport red coloured tags, while food supply vehicles (including groceries and milk) will have to use green tags.
Yellow colour has been assigned to vehicles carrying essential service employees including the civic staff, media personnel and other categories allowed by the state government.
Meanwhile, for the second consecutive day, Maharashtra witnessed more than 500 Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday, making it the highest single-day deaths reported since the pandemic outbreak.
In the past 24 hours, as many as 568 patients succumbed to the deadly virus in the state, increasing the death toll to 61,911 so far. The previous highest was 519 which was reported just a day before. Meanwhile, for the third day in a row more than 50,000 patients recovered across the state, taking the recoveries to 32,68,449.