Coronavirus impact: Section 144 invoked for group tours in Mumbai

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on March 16, 2020 Published on March 15, 2020

File photo

Health Minister Rajesh Tope announced the expansion of coronavirus testing facilities in Maharashtra

Thirty-two positive cases of novel coronavirus has been reported in Maharashtra so far, the State’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Sunday, adding that the state is gearing up to take hold of the current emergency situation.

Pune Municipal Commissioner, Shekhar Gaikwad told BusinessLine that there has been no new cases of coronavirus infection in the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad in the last two-days. The police department is being also asked to invoke Section 144 outside hospitals and government offices, to prevent gathering of people.

More testing centres

In view of the outbreak, the Mumbai Police has already invoked Section 144 of the CrPC on Sunday. Announcing the expansion of coronavirus testing facilities in the State, Tope said that the capacity to test samples of suspected cases of the novel coronavirus will be increased to 350 per day, from the current 100 samples per day, at the Mumbai municipality-run Kasturba hospital in Mumbai.


The Minister said that the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has occupied Seven Hill Hospital, which is having 500 beds at present. Steps are initiated to increase the capacity by another 500 beds shortly. MCGM officials have also been instructed to provide protective masks as per requirement in the hospital.

The State government has already initiated the process to set up another laboratory to test samples at the KEM Hospital in Mumbai by Wednesday. The Minister said that 250 samples can be tested at the new facility.

New laboratories will also be set up at the JJ Hospital and at the Haffkine Institute in Mumbai soon. The Government is also planning to set up a new laboratory at a hospital in Pune in the next 15-20 days.

The Minister said that a decision has already been taken on this regard, and orders will be issued either on Monday or Tuesday.

Confirmed cases

“Maharashtra has 32 confirmed positive cases of the novel coronavirus as of now, including nine people who are admitted at Kasturba hospital,” the Tope told reporters after reviewing the quarantine facility and other infrastructure at Kasturba hospital in Mumbai on Sunday.


Meanwhile, the State government has appealed to the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) to postpone all its upcoming exams till March 31.

Published on March 15, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.