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Fresh Restrictions in Maharashtra and its effect on markets April 06 2021Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra lockdown guidelines,

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Coronavirus Impact on Stock Market 

India saw the largest-ever daily increase in Covid-19 cases, with 1,03,558 new cases added to the country's total of 1,25,89,067. Maharashtra remained the worst-affected state in the country, with 57,074 new infections registered on Sunday, the highest daily increase ever. With 11,163 new infections, Mumbai, India's financial capital, saw its highest-ever single-day rise, taking the total number of cases to 4,52,445 in the city.

Maharashtra Government imposed a fresh set of restrictions, amidst the worsening situation with high number of new Covid-19 cases being recorded. The second wave is resulting to be even more dangerous than the first in 2020. The restrictions also included a weekend lockdown to curb the surge in Covid cases. 

Followed by a Cabinet meeting, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray announced the restrictions. While addressing on Friday, the chief minister cautioned that if the bleak situation continued, lockdown would be imposed. The state's weekend lockdown will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and last until 7 a.m. on Monday. From 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., a night curfew will be in effect. These restrictions are not enforced to essential services.

In Maharashtra, here's a summary of what's open and what's closed. These restrictions will be applicable till April 30th.

What’s Allowed

1 Essential service will continue to function. E-commerce is allowed, but those engaged in these activities must be vaccinated in compliance with GoI guidelines and bring a negative RT-PCR certificate which will be valid for 15 days. The regulation will take effect from April 10th.

2 Government offices would only be able to run at 50% capacity.

3. Banking, insurance, the stock exchange, energy, water supply, medical care, telecommunications, and financial services will all continue to operate normally.

4. Construction sites would only be able to operate if the workers reside on-site.

5. Newspapers can be printed and distributed.

6. Public transportation: Auto rickshaws with a driver and two passengers are allowed to run. According to the RTO, taxis with a driver and 50 percent capacity are permitted. Buses are permitted to hold their maximum seating capacity, but no standing passengers are permitted.

7. Private transportation is permitted to operate from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, with exceptions for emergencies.

8. Shooting films, serials, and advertisements are permitted. However, filming scenes that include a large crowd should be avoided.

9. Marriage functions with a maximum of 50 people are permitted.

10. Funerals are limited to a maximum of 20 people.

What’s not allowed

1. Except for essential service stores, all shops, markets, and malls will be closed during the day. These stores would have to ensure that their employees follow all necessary guidelines of Covid-19.

2. Entertainment venues such as theatres, cinemas, video parlors, multiplexes, bars, swimming pools, sports complexes, auditoriums, and water parks will be closed.

3. Playgrounds and parks will be closed

4. Devotees' places of worship will also be closed, but religious activities will continue. Priests and workers at religious institutions should get vaccinated right away.

5. Salons, spas, and shopping malls will be closed.

6. Beaches and all public places will be closed from 8 pm to 7 am from Monday to Thursday and from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday.

7. There will be no classes in schools, universities, or private coaching. Class 10th and 12th candidates, on the other hand are granted exam exemptions.

8. All restaurants and bars will be closed, with the exception to those that are part of hotels and those located in campus. Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., takeaway, parcels, and home deliveries are permitted. Only home delivery is permitted on weekends from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

9. No religious, social, cultural, or political functions allowed.

10. Starting April 10, any industrial process that is a net user of oxygen as a raw material will be disallowed by default.

Effect on markets

The implication of Lockdown by Maharashtra government spooked the market investors and traders. Furthermore, a poor macroeconomic print added fuel to the flames, raising the fears about the economy's speed and strength.  The market's selling was mostly broad-based, with only stocks in the information technology (IT) and metals sectors managing to stay afloat, while PSU bank stocks took the brunt of the blow. The volatility index increased by more than 6% to 21.21.

Over the next few days, markets will monitor how the Covid situation plays out in Maharashtra and other states, especially those where the cases are on the rise. With Q4 earnings, increasing Covid cases, and higher bond yields among the factors that are likely to decide the trend, though experts say, April is likely to be a highly volatile month for the markets.

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