Coronavirus Pandemic: Mumbai-Pune Expressway shut down for normal passengers

Coronavirus Pandemic: Mumbai-Pune Expressway shut down for normal passengers

With 89 people positive cases of coronavirus, Maharashtra is the worst-hit state in the country. On March 22, Sunday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced that Section 144 has been imposed in the state till March 31

CM Thackeray also announced the shutdown of local train services in the city till March 31. Now the Mumbai-Pune Expressway has also been shut down for normal passengers. The state highway police are conducting rigorous checking of all the vehicles passing through the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

Vijay Patil, Superintendent of Police, Maharashtra Highway Police told Free Press Journal,

"Vehicles ferrying essential services and employees are being allowed to ply, however, those carrying normal passengers who want to leave the city are being stopped."

While people on social media were making claims that the expressway was shut entirely, Maharashtra Highway Police SP Vijay Patil said, it is not shut entirely but has only been kept open for essential services. He added that barring essential services like food, milk, water hospitals, fire, prisons, banks, and media, they were stopping the vehicles.

The move comes in the wake of 15 new cases being reported in a single day on Monday. 14 of the positive cases are from Mumbai whereas one is from Pune.

Despite repeated appeals by the officials, the people are overlooking the advice of practising social distancing. If this continues, Maharashtra, which is currently the epicentre of coronavirus in India, will be looking at recording an even higher number of people. There are a few including Anand Mahindra that India is currently in stage3, however, Rajesh Tope earlier today has clarified that we are still in stage 2, which is local spread. 

In India, 415 people have tested positive for the deadly virus and seven people have succumbed to it, three of which were from Maharashtra.

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