New COVID-19 lockdown in Maharashtra?
- “Lockdown If Cases Keep Rising For 8-15 Days,” Says Uddhav Thackeray
- Maharashtra bans political, religious and social gatherings, imposes new lockdown in some areas as COVID-19 cases rise
- Pune shuts schools and colleges, imposes night curfew till February 28
- 7-day lockdown in Maharashtra’s Amravati from Monday
- Increase surveillance, conduct more RT-PCR tests: Centre tells states
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray posed a question to the citizens in the state and asked if the government should impose a lockdown. He said he will seek the answer in the coming eight days.
“Those who do not want a lockdown will observe protocols like using masks, washing hands and keeping physical distance. People who want a lockdown again will flout these rules. Let us see who wants a lockdown, and who doesn’t. I am very clear about this,” Maharashtra CM said.
— Shivangi Thakur (@thakur_shivangi) February 21, 2021
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday called the coronavirus situation in the state “serious” and warned that #lockdown would have to be reimposed if daily Covid cases continue to rise in the next two weeks. In a virtual address, he said it would take “8 to 15 days” to ascertain if the current upsurge in daily figures is a fresh wave of infections. He also warned people to follow coronavirus protocols to avoid lockdown.
“Do we need a lockdown? If you behave responsibly, we will know in the next eight days. Those who don’t want a lockdown, will wear a mask. Those who want a lockdown, will not wear one. So wear a mask and say ‘No’ to the lockdown,” he said.
“Whether this is a second wave or not, we will understand this in the coming 8 to 15 days,” he added.
After a lull of three months, Maharashtra, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country, reported over 6,000 daily cases last Friday. On Sunday, the state recorded 6,971 cases and 35 deaths. Mumbai, the state capital, logged 921 infections.
“The coronavirus figures are rising…the state was reporting around 2,000-2,500 daily cases; now, it is reporting nearly 7,000…active cases have jumped from 40,000 to 53,000…last year, the numbers that we had been getting during the Covid peak, are almost equal to what we are getting now…just think what the figures would be when we hit the peak again,” he said.
“If the numbers keep rising till the next 8 to 15 days, lockdown will have to be announced,” he added.
Mr Thackeray said that local administrations have been permitted to place restrictions in the worst-affected districts.
7-day lockdown in Maharashtra’s Amravati from Monday
Maharashtra’s Amravati will be placed under a week-long lockdown from Monday 8 pm, said Cabinet Minister Yashomati Thakur. Only essential services will be allowed to function in the area and the authorities further warned that the lockdown could be extended if people do not follow COVID-19 norms.
Cinema houses, gyms, swimming pools, parks will remain shut and gatherings for entertainment, educational, cultural, religious purposes etc will not be permitted.
Apart from the 7-day lockdown in Amravati, certain restrictions will be in place in four other districts of the Amravati division namely Akola, Washim, Buldhana and Yavatmal.
Pune shuts schools and colleges, imposes night curfew till February 28
The district administration in Pune city announced to close all the educational institutions to curb the sudden rise in coronavirus cases. The city also imposed a night curfew, where, from 11 pm to 6 am, no public movement will be allowed except for those involved in essential services.
Increase surveillance, conduct more RT-PCR tests: Centre tells states
The Centre on Sunday directed states to increase the surveillance and conduct more RT-PCR tests. India has been witnessing rising COVID-19 cases over the past few days and the total active caseload increased to 1,45,634 on Sunday.
“Of late, it is seen that there has been a spike in the daily cases in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh also. Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir too are witnessing a surge in daily new cases,” said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The Centre has advised all these states to work on the following major areas:
1. Improve the overall testing numbers by focusing on increasing the proportion of RT-PCR tests.
2. All negative Rapid Antigen Test results to be mandatorily followed by RT-PCR test and no such negative persons are to be missed.
3. Refocus on strict and comprehensive surveillance as well as stringent containment in selected districts.
4. Regular monitoring of the mutant strains through testing followed by Genome Sequencing, as well as monitoring of the emerging cluster of cases.
5. Focusing on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths.