Maharashtra ‘vigilant’ after new COVID strain found in UK, orders night curfew

CM Thackeray said the decision was taken in view of an “out of control” strain of virus found in the UK

Uddhav Thackeray, Sena

After the United Kingdom (UK) reported a new strain of coronavirus, the Maharashtra government on Monday decided to impose a night curfew in all the municipal areas of the state starting Tuesday (December 22) night. The curfew will be in place from 11 pm to 6 am and will remain in force till January 5.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray in his address to the people of the state on Monday (December 21) evening said he was not in favour of night curfew or another lockdown, as the coronavirus situation is under control, but doesn’t want to take any chance.

Also read: ‘Masks mandatory for next 6 months in Maha’: Uddhav Thackeray

However, after a meeting with senior state government officials and police officers on Monday, the Chief Minister announced the imposition of the night curfew. Accordingly, all shops, barring essential services like medical stores, will have to shut down by 11 pm.

The state government has also decided to restart institutional quarantine for all passengers coming in from Europe and the Middle East. The fliers will have to be quarantined for 14 days after landing at the airport.

The CM said the new strain of the virus found in the UK has invited all the precautions. “We have to be more vigilant for the coming 15 days,” CM Thackeray said in a statement released through the CMO.

Thackeray also said that wearing a mask would be mandatory at least for the next six months even if the vaccine against coronavirus becomes available. He also asked people to take all precautions while celebrating Christmas and New Year.