Malls to remain open, says Maharashtra Health Minister

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Mar 13 (ANI): At times when centre and states are pulling all stops to help contain the spread of coronavirus, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Friday said that malls will remain open in the state.

"Malls will remain open in the state while all the political, religious gatherings and sports events are banned," said Tope.

Tope said that the number of positive coronavirus cases may increase hence everyone should take precautions to help contain the spread of the virus.

"The number of positive coronavirus cases may increase hence everyone should take precautions. I appeal to people to not pay heed to rumours. There is no need to panic. The isolation beds are available in all districts of the state. We are seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan's permission to start testing labs," he said.

Earlier today, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that all theaters, gyms, swimming pools in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Pimpri-Chinchwad will remain closed starting midnight today till March 30.

"The decision is taken as a precautionary measure as of now. We don't want the citizen to get panic," said Thackeray.

On March 30, CM Thackeray is slated to hold a review meeting to decide further course of action.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday said that so far 81 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in India out of which 64 are Indians, and the rest are foreign nationals.

Earlier, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a 'pandemic'.Coronavirus, which originated in China's Wuhan city, has so far spread to more than 100 countries infecting over 1,20,000 people. (ANI)