11 Mar 2021: Amid lockdown worry, Centre expresses concern over Maharashtra's COVID-19 situation
The Union Health Ministry on Thursday expressed concern over the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra.
The Ministry advised district administrations in the state to step up vaccinations for eligible groups.
Maharashtra is India's worst-hit state in terms of the absolute number of cases, the absolute number of deaths, the number of active infections, and the rate of rise in infections.
Statement: 'Active cases more than doubled in Maharashtra'
NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr. VK Paul said, "We are worried about the rise in cases in Maharashtra," noting that active infections in Maharashtra have more than doubled, while they have halved in Kerala.
"COVID-appropriate behavior, containment strategy, vaccination are a must to fight this pandemic. We advise districts, where cases are on the rise, to intensify, prioritize vaccination of eligible individuals."
Fact: Centre also cautioned about COVID-19 situation in Delhi-NCR
Dr. Paul said, "I would like to caution Delhi-NCR, Gurugram, parts of Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad, to some extent. These areas are seeing a slight rise in the number of cases," adding that the pandemic is not over yet.
Outbreak: 8/10 cities with highest active caseload in Maharashtra
Maharashtra had reported 13,659 new infections on Wednesday, the highest since early-October 2020 and 60% of the country's single-day total.
The total number of infections in the state has reached 22,52,057, including 52,610 deaths, and 20,99,207 recoveries.
The Ministry said eight of the 10 cities with the highest number of active infections are in Maharashtra: Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Mumbai, Amravati, Jalgaon, Nashik, and Aurangabad.
Fact: 'Maharashtra spike due to large gatherings, lack of COVID-appropriate behavior'
Indian Council For Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Dr. Balram Bhargava said the surge in Maharashtra is "definitely not" connected to mutant strains of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. "It is due to large gatherings and lack of COVID-appropriate behavior," he said.
Lockdown: Lockdown ordered in Nagpur, parts of Thane
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Thursday that a strict lockdown will be inevitable in some regions.
He made the statement after taking the first shot of COVAXIN at the JJ Hospital in Mumbai.
Due to the worsening COVID-19 situation, a lockdown has been ordered in Nagpur city and some adjoining areas from March 15-21 and in hotspots in Thane from March 13-31.