Maharashtra lockdown: All on board, guidelines to be discussed, says minister
Maharashtra minister Aslam Sheikh said on Sunday all stakeholders agree there is a need to impose a lockdown in the state, which has the highest number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the country. Aslam Sheikh’s comments came a day after Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray hinted at the possibility of a strict lockdown in the state amid the alarming rise in Covid-19 cases. Uddhav Thackeray during an all-party meeting to review the Covid-19 situation in the state also pointed out that lives need to saved and that the government will have to clamp strict restrictions to break the chain of transmission.
“In today's meeting with the state Covid-19 task dorce, everyone was of the view to impose lockdown in the state. SOPs and guidelines for it will be discussed,” Aslam Sheikh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Thackeray will also hold a meeting with other stakeholders over the next few days and the decision on the duration of the Maharashtra lockdown may be announced soon. The government may impose the lockdown in Maharashtra at least for two weeks.
The Union ministry of health and family welfare said on Sunday that Maharashtra is among the five states cumulatively accounting for 70.82 per cent of India's active Covid-19 cases, which breached the 1.1 million mark for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic last year. Maharashtra alone accounts for 48.57 per cent of the total active caseload of the country, the health ministry said.
Uddhav Thackeray said at the all-party meeting said that his government will address the issues of the livelihood of the poor, labourers and daily-wagers, which was highlighted by leaders of oppostion parties. “The number of patients is increasing so fast that if we do not decide on a lockdown today, a lockdown-like situation will automatically arise tomorrow. Today the situation is getting worse. We are also constantly considering Covid-19 task force experts in the state,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the chief minister’s office (CMO).
Maharashtra recorded 55,411 new cases on Saturday, a day after the state went under a weekend lockdown, which began at 8pm on Friday and it will continue till 7am on Monday. The curbs will continue till April 30. The state recorded the highest single-day surge since the beginning of the pandemic on Wednesday with 59,907 Covid-19 cases and recorded more than 58,000 infections on Friday as well.