Pune: Maharashtra government has asked all offices, shops in Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur to remain shut till March 31 as number of COVID-19 positive cases in the state have been increasing. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray declared the decision in view of the growing spread of the disease.

“This is a world war. Usually, world strives hard to stay alive without stopping for even a second. Now the whole world needs to stay as home in order to survive,” said Thackeray.

He said that respected individuals from Bollywood and cricket have come forward and appealed to people to stay home and stay calm. We need to take significant care during next 15 days. Maharashtra government is taking some precautionary measures very reluctantly just for you. We cannot stop trains and buses, as our essential service providers like doctors, nurses, government staff, staff of the municipal corporations need to use them,” he said.

The state government has decided to reduce the attendance of government servants from 50% decided earlier to just 25%. “Apart from essential services, please stop all other services, restaurants, shops,offices have been shut down. In Mumbai, Pune, PImpri Chinchavad and Nagpur, all offices and shops will be closed till March 31. Banks will remain open. The district collectors can be consulted to understand what constitutes essential services,” said Thackeray requesting that the wages of people employed by these establishments that will remain closed, should not be cut.

The state government also announced that the final examinations of Std 1 to Std 8 stand cancelled.

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