Maharashtra govt may impose lockdown to stop Covid-19 surge; decision on duration to be decided soon
- Maharashtra govt may impose lockdown to stop Covid-19 surge; decision on duration to be decided soon
The Maharashtra government is keen on imposing a lockdown as the state struggles to contain the surge in the cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the state. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at an all-party meeting on Saturday said that the decision on the lockdown will be announced soon but a consensus has been reached regarding the imposition of lockdown, people familiar with the developments said. Thackeray is scheduled to hold a meeting with the state task force on Sunday and will meet other stakeholders over the next two days following which a decision on the duration of the lockdown may be announced.
The state has already announced weekend lockdown—from 8pm on Friday till 7am on Monday, in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19. The Maharashtra government earlier warned that a strict Covid-19 lockdown is needed to arrest the Covid-19 spike in the state. Health minister Rajesh Tope on Friday said that if the state cannot contain the spread of Covid-19 then a lockdown cannot be averted. “We would need a complete lockdown for 15 days to three weeks even though I am not in favour of that. If hospitals are overwhelmed, if there is a shortage of medicines and if the government is unable to cope with the growing number of patients then such a step could be taken,” the health minister said, according to a report by PTI.
The state recorded more than 50,000 over the past few days. It recorded the highest single-day surge since the beginning of the pandemic on Wednesday with 59,907 cases and recorded more than 58,000 cases on Friday as well. Maharashtra is the highest contributor to the daily Covid-19 caseload as well as the active caseload and also has the most number of districts that are reporting daily surges in Covid-19 numbers, according to data released by the Union health ministry. Among the 10 districts pointed out by the health ministry, which account for more than 45% of the total active cases, six are from Maharashtra. Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad have reported a large spike in daily Covid-19 cases as well the number of active Covid-19 cases.
The state government was involved in a war of words over the allotment of vaccines with the Centre on Friday when health minister Tope claimed that the state has not received adequate amounts of doses. The claim was refuted by the Centre as Union health minister Harsh Vardhan accused the Maharashtra government of using vaccine dose deficit as an excuse for the recent spike in cases and also held the state government responsible for holding the nation back in its fight against the pandemic.
The financial capital on Friday also reported a crunch in the shortage of vaccines which led to a temporary halt in the vaccination drive. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Friday also announced that private vaccination centres will have to stop vaccinating people until April 12 due to a shortage of vaccines and centres run by the civic body and government will administer vaccines on Saturday and Sunday. BMC also received 99,000 vaccine doses earlier on Saturday which it distributed to vaccination centres run by the government and the municipality.
India recorded 145,384 new coronavirus cases on Saturday setting a new record while recording 794 fresh fatalities in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 13.21 million. The country has reported the highest number of cases in the past week.