India records nearly 40,000 COVID cases in 24 hours, highest for 2021

MUMBAI: In light of the rising number of coronavirus cases, the Maharashtra government on Friday imposed restrictions on drama theatres and auditoriums in the state, asking them to operate only at 50 per cent of their capacity till March 31.

Similarly, private offices, except those related to health and other essential services, will be allowed to function only at 50 percent of their capacity, a government notification issued on Friday said.

In the case of government and semi-government offices, the head of the office will make a decision regarding the staff attendance and ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

The order comes a day after the state saw a single-day rise of 25,833 coronavirus cases, the highest daily surge since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.

As per the notification, drama halls and auditoriums will not be used for religious, political, cultural, and social gatherings.

If the order is violated, the drama theatres and auditoriums concerned will have to remain closed for a period until the COVID-19 pandemic stays notified as a disaster by the central government, it said.

Violations shall attract penalties under the law for the owner of the premises.

On March 15, the state government had notified that cinema halls, hotels, restaurants and offices, except those related to health and essential services, will function at 50 percent of their capacity.

But Friday’s order has included drama theatres and auditoriums as well.

The order, however, allowed the manufacturing sector to function at full capacity but advised that the workforce be reduced to ensure adequate social distancing on the production floor.

For the purpose of maintaining social distancing, manufacturing units may be allowed to increase working shifts as approved by local authorities.

No entry will be allowed without proper wearing of masks, temperature measuring devices to be used to ensure no one with fever gets an entry, it said.