Coronavirus outbreak: Avoid crowded places, says Uddhav Thackeray

Updated: Mar 14, 2020, 08:10 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray tells private firms to allow employees to work from home; Central Railway, performance, art, cultural spaces postpone events that see large crowds

A Central Railway train being sprayed with disinfectant on Friday
A Central Railway train being sprayed with disinfectant on Friday

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced the closure of cinema halls, gyms, and swimming pools in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur from Friday midnight. The closure — a step to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus — will be in place till further notice.

Thackeray spared malls and restaurants but asked people to avoid crowded places. "People should avoid travel and places of gathering but the government cannot stop basic means of transport like buses and trains," he said.

While schools and colleges in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad have been shut down indefinitely, those in Mumbai will remain open "to avoid panic", although some private schools in the city are not conducting classes.

"Our job is to not create fear," he said, adding that a call to postpone examinations will be taken later. He also asked private firms to allow people to work from home if necessary. The 17 Coronavirus patients in the state, Thackeray said, do not have serious symptoms and are being treated. The state will also not permit any events involving gatherings and will cancel all previously granted permissions.

No heritage walk at CSMT

Central Railway on Friday said it is suspending the heritage museum gallery and walks till March 31. The fixtures have been immensely popular with students and foreign tourists.

Borivli Advocate Bar Association members ‘tell’ Coronavirus to leave India by raising ‘Go Corona Go’ slogans. The advocates also organised a Satyanarayan Pooja as a part of the inaugurating new bar-rooms for women advocates. The event saw the association distributing masks to the ‘hundreds of bar members who together’ ask the almighty to help them overcome the global pandemic. PIC/ASHISH RAJEBorivli Advocate Bar Association members 'tell' Coronavirus to leave India by raising 'Go Corona Go' slogans. The advocates also organised a Satyanarayan Pooja as a part of the inaugurating new bar-rooms for women advocates. The event saw the association distributing masks to the 'hundreds of bar members who together' ask the almighty to help them overcome the global pandemic. Pic/ Ashish Raje

"The museum is visited by people from all over the world. Initiating preventive measures is a priority. Hence, the walks are suspended till March 31. We will review the decision as per further developments," said Central Railway's Chief Public Relations Officer Shivaji Sutar.

Cultural fallout

Cultural institutions and performance spaces postponed art, theatre and music events indefinitely and in most cases, shut doors altogether.

While those like Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) took the lead in postponing all public and children's programmes, other institutions and venues — National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), the G5A Centre for Contemporary Culture, Jeff Goldberg Studio and Aram Nagar's Harkat Studios announced indefinite postponements on Friday. The Royal Opera House which remained functional with precautions also followed suit after the CM's announcement.

"The safety and wellbeing of our patrons, audiences and performers is of utmost importance to us. Therefore, all events stand deferred until further notice," said Ashish Doshi, Honorary Director, Royal Opera House.

Inputs by Prachi Sibal, Rajendra Aklekar

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