The Maharashtra government on Friday allowed private buses to operate with full capacity ahead of Diwali holidays and issued an SOP to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. The state government has directed private bus owners not to allow passengers without masks to board their vehicles and keep sanitizers at the entrance of buses along with extra masks.

As per the SOP, every passenger will be screened with a thermal gun before boarding and those with fever, cough and cold will not be permitted to travel. Drivers should ensure that proper social distancing is maintained among passengers while boarding and alighting from buses, the SOP stated.

Buses should be disinfected at the end of each journey and even reservation offices should be cleaned and sanitised, it was stated. As per the guidelines, permit holders of buses will have to maintain proper records of disinfection of their buses.

The state government has also warned action against permit holders under the Motor Vehicle Act 1988, Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 and Disaster Management Act 2005, in case the SOP is violated.

Private operators have been seeking to ply buses with full capacity, especially after the state government permitted the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) to so.

In a bid to promote hotels and restaurants in Maharashtra, the hospitality sector will be given industry rating. Under the new policy, only 10 permits are needed in place of 70 permits to open a hotel or restaurant. These ten permissions will have to be taken from seven items related to BMC, Labor, Excise Department, Sales Tax and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.

The important thing is that there will be no need to visit any government department for license or permit. The application can be made online for license or permit. With the new policy, it will be easy to open hotels and restaurants in Maharashtra. This will greatly benefit the hotel-restaurant sector affected by the coronavirus.

Due to Corona, only 14,000 out of 220,00 hotels and restaurants have been opened in Mumbai. Around six million employees are connected with hotel and restaurant and their employment has been adversely affected due to the virus. 

Meanwhile, a two-week Diwali holiday from November 8-22 has been given by the Bombay High Court. During this time, the Vacation Bench will work for hearing important matters. Two division benches and two single judge benches will work during the first week off
During the second week off, one division bench and two single judge benches will work.

During the last 24 hours in Maharashtra, 5,027 new cases of Corona have been reported. With this, the number of corona patients in Maharashtra has now increased to 1,710,314. There have been 161 deaths from COVID-19 in Maharashtra during the last 24 hours. The death toll from the virus in Maharashtra now stands at 44,965. Today 11,060 patients were discharged after recovery in Maharashtra. So far 1,562,342 patients recovered and were discharged in Maharashtra.

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In Mumbai, there have been 792 new cases during the last 24 hours. With this, the number of positive patients in Mumbai has increased to 262,473. There have been 22 deaths during the last 24 hours in Mumbai. So far, there have been a total of 10,399 deaths in Mumbai.

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