Mumbai, Apr 12 (PTI) A decision to impose 'lockdown' under the garb of a 'janata curfew' (voluntary shutdown) in the last week of February as coronavirus cases started to build up in most parts of Maharashtra helped Amravati tackle the onslaught better than others, the district's guardian minister Yashomati Thakur said on Monday.
She said the situation in Maharashtra, currently witnessing the most severe surge in the country, would have been different if the 'Amravati pattern' was implemented statewide earlier.
When the number of cases spiked from 1,000 to 1,200 quickly in February, a firm decision was taken to impose widespread restrictions, Thakur, who is state Women and Child Development minister, told PTI.
'We took a firm decision on February 26 to impose a lockdown resisting criticism and opposition. We started with a weekend lockdown, calling it a janata curfew. Later, for 10 to 12 days, we went in for complete lockdown, excluding essential services, MIDC and vegetable markets,' Thakur claimed.
The minister asserted Amravati was the first to take such a step when the 'first signs of the second wave was noticed'.
As the situation gradually turned normal, shops were allowed to remain open till 5pm, and other measures were also taken, like carrying out vaccination drives in markets and ensuring some 5,000 people were inoculated in the district per day, she said.
'In 13 days, we managed to control the number of cases added daily from 1,000 to about 300. If the entire state had taken a similar decision, we wouldn't have seen such a situation. The government is now working on the Amravati pattern,' Thakur, a Congress MLA from Teosa in Amravati, claimed.
With the number of cases in control in Amravati, the district is being able to cater to patients from Nagpur, Vidarbha's largest city, as well as Chhindwara and Betul in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, Thakur said. PTI MR BNM BNM