MUMBAI, Dec 21 - In a huge dampener ahead of the Christmas-New Year festivities, the Maharashtra government on Monday announced a return of night curfew for 15 days from December 22, amidst the huge global scare over a new strain of Covid-19 virus detected in the UK.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the state government has beefed up its defences to tackle the situation, including imposing a night curfew in the jurisdiction of BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation and 26 other civic bodies for the next 15 days � from December 22 till January 5.
�We have to be extremely vigilant over the next 15 days. Accordingly, the curfew in all municipal areas shall be in force on all nights till January 5,� he said.
The move for the 11 p.m.-6 am curfew came after conducting detailed deliberations with top officials of various departments here, said an official.
Additionally, starting from Monday night, the state has made 14 days� institutional quarantine compulsory for all travelers from UK, Europe and Middle East, as a precaution, the CM said.
Besides these measures, 14 days� home quarantine will be mandatory for all passengers arriving from all other countries by flights to the international airports in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.
�The new virus strain detected in UK is spreading rapidly and its lethality will be known in the next few days. We cannot afford to drop our vigil for the next 15 days and so these extra precautions,� Thackeray declared, asking the health authorities to set up a �special hospital for treating anyone from Europe who may be carrying the new virus�.
�The new protocols shall be enforced very strictly. Under no circumstances can we afford the new virus strain to enter Mumbai or Maharashtra,� BMC Commissioner I.S. Chahal warned in an address shortly afterwards. � IANS