Mumbai: In a drastic step to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Maharashtra government ordered closure of cinema halls, gyms, swimming pools and malls in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur cities from Friday midnight.
Making the announcement in the state Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the government was invoking the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 from midnight.
Wherever possible, companies should allow employees to work from home in view of coronavirus threat, he said.
Thackeray announced that schools in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad areas will remain shut till further orders.
However, the SSC exams in those schools will continue as per schedule, he said.
He also informed the House that so far, 17 persons have tested positive for coronavirus in the state- three each in Mumbai and Nagpur, 10 in Pune and one in Thane.
The chief minister also appealed to the people to avoid visiting malls.