The state government implemented Section 144 across Maharashtra on Sunday to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 strain. This means that mass gatherings are strictly prohibited in the state, and it’s your duty as a citizen to ensure that the disease is not spread at this time. While the WHO has said that isolation will not entirely help the spread of the disease, it certainly is a way to keep the spread of the virus under check.
Pranaya Ashok, the deputy commissioner of police, Greater Mumbai issued a circular discussing Section 144 of the IPC and what it entails. This will go on till March 31 and can extend, depending on the situation in the state on that day.
According to Ashok, the police will prohibit the movement of five or more people in public or private places, including religious places and also any vehicles carrying such persons for any reason whatsoever.
However, the order does not apply to the following exempted entities
- Emergency services:
- Essential services as follows:
a) Food, vegetable, milk, supplies, ration and grocery
b) Hospitals, medicines, pharma-related establishments, pathology laboritries, medical/nursing colleges
c) Telephone and internet services
d) Banking, stock exchange clearing corporations, depositories, stock brokers, SEBI-registered participants operating through these institutions
e) IT and IT-enabled services and data centres providing services for national and international infrastructure
g) Electricity, petroleum, oil and energy-related
i) Services providing home delivery of food, groceries
j) Drinking water supply and maintenance
k) Godowns and warehousing-related to all the above
l) Trucks and tempo services
- Government and semi-government agencies
- Zonal DCsP are empowered to grant special permission