Deputy CM Ajit Pawar
Deputy CM Ajit Pawar

Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday announced that closure of non essential good shops and private offices in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) including Thane, Navi Mumbai, Vasai, Virar, Kalyan, Dombivli, Ulhasnagar and also in Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Nagpur, Nashik and Ratnagiri will remain closed to avoid Coronavirus spread not just until March 31 but until further orders.

Pawar reiterated that all markets and private offices will be shut from midnight Friday except essential commodities in major cities to discourage gatherings.

He however, said that the government offices will continue to function with 25% staff  while a day's holiday will be granted to the doctors, medical staff and police personnel who are working for long hours. ''There is need to give these employees rest for some time,'' he noted.

Pawar, who is also the Pune district's guardian minister,  appealed to the citizens not to gather in large numbers at marriages or funerals and other  religious rituals. He urged the citizens to either postpone marriages or  complete the ceremony with minimum number of people. Pawar held a marathon meeting with the Pune district administration. Currently out of the total 52 Coronavirus patients across the state, 12 are in Pune and 9 are in Pimpri Chinchwad.

Pawar, who holds planning and finance department, added that funds are not a deterant to implement necessary measures to curb coronavirus spurt in the state. 

He called upon the citizens to strictly follow government advisories and help the government in its efforts to tackle the crisis.

Meanwhile, Pawar scoffed at reports on social media that his son Parth had returned from Singapore.

''I am his father. I want to make it clear that Parth had not gone to Singapore in the last four months. If you want I can show you Parth's possport,'' clarified Pawar. He was responding to a question on Whatsapp messages that the special plane was sent to Singapore to bring Parth back.

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