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Maharashtra Covid Surge: Work from Home for 50% of Employees at Private Offices, Other New Rules

With more than 25,000 new Covid-19 cases reported in Maharashtra for two days in a row, authorities imposed new restrictions across the state on Friday. In a sign that the coronavirus situation is turning bleaker, Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray also said that a lockdown is an option, but that he is confident that people will follow the standards for themselves and work from home.

Private offices to work at 50% capacity:

According to the directives issued by the state government, all private offices, except those of health and basic services, will operate at 50% capacity.

Work from Home

The directive said, “All private offices, except those of health and basic services, will operate at 50%  capacity...and others will work from home. In the case of Government and semi-government offices, the head of the office makes a decision on attendance to guarantee the adherence to all Covid-19 standards ".

Theater hall to operate at 50% capacity:

The government also said that all auditoriums and theaters would operate at 50% capacity and that one could not enter the building without wearing the appropriate masks. Authorities must ensure that all Covid-19 guidelines are followed in the building.

The directive states that "All theaters and corridors are operating at 50% capacity. Entrance is not allowed without properly wearing masks. Thermometers must be used to ensure that no one enters the building with a fever. Appropriate locations."

He also said: “Theater halls and galleries cannot be used for any religious/cultural/social/political/cultural gathering ... In case this is violated, the drama/theater in question must remain close to the period until The Covid-19 pandemic remains ...

Rapid antigen test is mandatory for all Mumbai shopping malls:

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced on Friday that it will make the rapid antigen testing facility collect samples for the Covid-19 test on a mandatory basis in all Mumbai shopping malls. The new rule will take effect on March 22.

If visitors do not have a negative Covid-19 test report, they will need to take a rapid antigen test at the mall entrance.

"A team will be appointed at the entrance for the same purpose. Management staff can work from home if possible. Details are in preparation," the Mumbai civil authority said.

What did the Chief Minister say?

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister said: "I see the lockdown as an option to move forward. But I am confident that state personnel will cooperate(and voluntarily follow COVID-19 standards) like last time."People are again preferring work from home after the pandemic spread.

Noting that we have the vaccine to act as a shield against the deadly virus on this occasion, the Chief Minister appealed to people to be vaccinated without fear.

"When the pandemic started last year, there was nothing to fight the virus, but now at least we have vaccines as a shield. Now the priority is to make sure everyone is vaccinated. People should come forward to take the vaccine," said Thackeray

Maharashtra reported as many as 25,681 new COVID19 cases on Friday and recorded more than 25,000 cases for the second day in a row. This brings the total number of cases to 24,22,021. On Thursday, the western state recorded 25,833 cases, the highest in a single day since the start of the pandemic. The state has also seen 70 deaths related to Covid-19, bringing the death toll to 53,208. Currently, the total active cases in the state of Maharash is 1,77,560.

Also Read: Not everyone in India will get a coronavirus vaccine: Harsh Vardhan explains

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