Mumbai: Amid growing concern over spread of coronavirus, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday that all workplaces in major cities in Maharashtra, including Mumbai and Pune, will remain closed till March 31.
The shutdown will be applicable in Mumbai, Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur, Thackeray told reporters here.
Government offices will operate at 25 per cent attendance, he said.
Maharashtra so far has 52 coronavirus positive cases, while one Covid-19 patients died in Mumbai this week.
Thackeray said maximum number of patients were from these cities and had travelled abroad.
In a televised address, Thackeray said only essential services will remain open which includefood, milk and medicines.
Banks will remain functional, Thackeray said. The attendance in government offices will be brought down to 25 per cent from the present 50 percent on rotation basis as announced earlier, he said.
The Chief Minister ruled out shutting down public transport in Mumbai.
"The trains and buses are the city's lifeline and cannot be stopped. I have been advised to take this step. But doing this will affect movement of those working in places which provide essential services to the city, he said.
The decision to shut down public transport will not be taken as of now, he said.
He said people have heeded to his request to stay at home and the trains and buses are not crowded as usual.
"I appeal to employers to ensure that the minimum wage of their workers are ensured during the shutdown period," he said adding that it is only humanity that will win against all odds.
The global war against coronavirus is such that people have to stay at home to live, Thackeray said.