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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today announced that all private shops, offices and establishments in Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur metropolitan regions will be shut from Friday midnight  due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Only essential services like bakery, dairy, vegetable market, grocery shops will be kept open. Bank services will be also open for financial transactions.

He also said that government offices will function with 25 per cent minimum staffers against the earlier 50 per cent.

However, local trains and buses in Mumbai will not be shut.

“Our many medical hospital and corporation employees come from the suburbs, therefore train and bus services are essential for the city. After our appeal, the crowd in public transport and on roads are reduced significantly. We do not want to take harsh measures. The closing of buses and train services will be the last resort,” Thackeray said .

Examinations of standard 1st to VIII has also been cancelled due to rising coronavirus cases in the state. “The standard IX and XI examination will be conducted after April 15. All teachers except 10th class should work from home,” education minister, Varsha Gaikwad informed.

Maharashtra has witnessed a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases, with 52 persons testing positive for the deadly infection. The novel coronavirus cases in India has reached 209.

Worldwide, over 7,000 people have died, more than one lakh has been infected in 143 countries.  The WHO last week declared Europe as the epicentre of the pandemic.

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