Govt invokes Maha Epidemic Act in State

ST CORRESPONDENT
Saturday, 14 March 2020

This act will be come into force from midnight of Friday and will be in force till March 30. The Maharashtra Epidemic Act delegates powers to doctors.

MUMBAI: The State government has launched a containment plan to deal with the situation arising from the coronavirus outbreak. As part of the plan, the government invoked the Maharashtra Epidemic Act, 1989, under which the government announced shutdown of all cinema halls, auditoriums, religious and other gatherings.

Meetings, and conferences in Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane.

This act will be come into force from midnight of Friday and will be in force till March 30. The Maharashtra Epidemic Act delegates powers to doctors. If the doctors have doubt about a patient being positive for coronavirus, but who refuses to undergo tests from the National Institute of Virology, then in the larger interest of the State, the State can forcibly get him or her admitted in hospital.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, “While rallies or religious gatherings  have been banned. If any organisation has obtained permission earlier, that will be cancelled.” 

“The next 15 days are crucial,” he said. “The State government is fully prepared to face the outbreak. Around 700 beds have been earmarked in isolation wards. A team of doctors trained by Ministry of Health has been deployed in all districts to train the doctors there,” said Thackeray. Health Minister Rajesh Tope said till date, 1,48,706 passengers have been screened at Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur airports. There are 17 coronavirus positive patients, who are undergoing treatment in the State. Their infection is mild.

Thackeray and Tope appealed to people not to queue up for tests before general laboratories as they are not qualified to do tests for coronavirus. 

SHUTDOWN
- Shutdown applicable in Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai.
- Cinema halls.
- Gyms and swimming pools.
- Schools in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad will be closed except the SSC and HSC exams.
- Religious, commercial events, rallies will not be allowed. Permission previously given will be cancelled. 
- All companies can allow workers to work from home.

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