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Published On: Tue, Apr 20th, 2021

Maharashtra Could Be Headed For Full Lockdown

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Mum-2MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government might announce a complete lockdown as the state is witnessing a worrisome surge in daily numbers of Covid-19 cases. Fearing possible collapse of the health care system, State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said all cabinet ministers have requested Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to announce the imposition of statewide lockdown.
All Maharashtra ministers have requested Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to impose a lockdown in the Covid-hit state and a decision on this will be announced tomorrow after 8 pm, minister Rajesh Tope said on Tuesday, amid a huge surge in coronavirus cases in the state. “We have requested the CM to announce a complete lockdown in the state from tomorrow at 8 pm. This was the request of all ministers to CM, now it is his decision,” Mr Tope was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
On Tuesday, India registered 1,761 Covid deaths in the last 24 hours, the biggest one-day spike, and over 2.59 lakh new cases. This was sixth day that the country logged over 2 lakh cases. Maharashtra, the worst-hit state in the country, has been reporting over 50,000 daily coronavirus cases for several days amid the rapid second wave of infections. On Tuesday, it reported 58,924 coronavirus cases and 351 fatalities in a day.

According to officials aware of the developments, there was a possibility of 15-day long statewide lockdown. “We have requested the Chief Minister to announce a complete lockdown in the state from tomorrow at 8 pm. This was the request of all ministers to Chief Minister, now it is his decision,” ANI quoted Tope as saying on Tuesday. There are indications that Thackeray would announce a decision on Wednesday.

Expressing concerns over a health care system under stress, Maharashtra Minister Aslam Sheikh said, “Looking at the shortage of supply of medical oxygen, Maharashtra is heading towards a complete lockdown; guidelines regarding it will be announced soon.” Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has now decided to cancel the state board exams for Class 10, keeping health and safety of students and teachers at topmost priority.

The Maharashtra government has already enforced stricter norms in the state with groceries shops to remain open only for four hours a day. The statement to this effect added that the new rules will remain applicable till May 1 to break the chain of transmission. The move comes a week after the state government enforced state-wise curfew along with other stringent measures to curb Covid. The state is one of the worst Covid-affected states in India, reporting shortage of medical oxygen. The Maharashtra government had imposed 15-day-long “lockdown-like” restrictions from April 14 to curb the transmission of coronavirus.
Earlier this month, Mr Thackeray had announced a weekend lockdown to bring the surge under control, but the coronavirus situation seems to be worsening in the state. Last week, Maharashtra consistently reported over 60,000 daily coronavirus cases. On Monday, Delhi, the worst-hit city in the country that has reported over 32,000 daily cases, announced a lockdown from 10 pm yesterday to 5 am next Monday. The city, like Maharashtra, is suffering an acute shortage of medical oxygen. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said that several hospitals would run out of oxygen in a few hours.
(Agency Inputs with Bureau Report).




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