Mumbai: No new lockdown, Just Section 144

The Mumbai Police have clarified there is no new lockdown in place and hence, no cause for panic, as there is only an extension of the already existing prohibitory orders that restrict public movement in Mumbai. This clarification comes on the heels of several social media posts and WhatsApp forwards, which sparked panic by hinting at another lockdown in Mumbai as the number of coronavirus cases in the city were rising. The rumours were quelled after police declared that no new lockdown being imposed and it was just routine procedure.

The order issued by Shahaji Umap, Dy Commissioner of Police (Operations) stated, "Whereas Mumbai city continues to be threatened with the spread of COVID-19, it is considered expedient to issue prohibitory order for restricting any presence or movement of one or more persons in public places or gathering of any sort anywhere, including religious places to prevent further spread of the virus in the areas under the control of Commissioner of Police, Greater Mumbai."

Clearing the air with its latest order dated September 16, a Mumbai Police spokesperson said that the prohibitory order would be applicable in Mumbai up to September 30. "This is a routine order, police issues one every 15 days. It is issued as per the guidelines received from the state government on August 31, regarding the easing of restrictions and phasewise opening of the lockdown (Mission Begin Again) and no new/fresh restrictions have been imposed by Mumbai Police," said the spokesperson. State Cabinet Minister Aaditya Thackeray also tweeted that no lockdown had been put in place. A police officer further said, prohibitory orders of section 144 were routine and there was no change in the Unlock guidelines. One could continue the activities mentioned in the order dated August 31, as part of 'Mission Begin Again', he said.

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