Maha Mulls Micro Lockdown in Few Districts as Covid-19 Cases Skyrocket; Announcement Likely Today

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As the cases continue to rise unabated across Maharashtra, the government is likely to impose curbs in Mumbai and parts of the state today. The restrictions could include new attendance norms for offices and businesses, crowd control for religious places, and fresh rules for social events.

At 1,828, Nagpur city recorded the highest number of fresh Covid-19 cases on Saturday, followed by 1,709 in Mumbai- year's highest record, 1,667 in Pune city, and 1,522 cases in Nashik. The worst-affected districts include Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, and Thane. The figures of the state are equally concerning- recorded 15,602 new cases and 88 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered hotels and restaurants in the state to ensure strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols on their premises and not force the state to enforce drastic measures like lockdown. Speaking at a virtual meeting attended by representatives of hotel and restaurant associations, shopping centre groups, the CM said a “lackadaisical” attitude towards outbreak norms had crept in lately.

“Do not force us to impose a strict lockdown. Consider this as the last warning. Follow all the rules. Everyone has to realise there is a difference between self-discipline and restrictions,” Thackeray said.

On Tuesday, Thackeray will hold consultations with key members of the state's Covid-19 Task Force, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Health Minister Rajesh Tope, and Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte.

Times of India report states, top doctors and administrators on Saturday said reports of the new strain of Covid-19 being responsible for the spike are not true and it is only people’s callous approach towards Covid-19 protocols, including social distancing and mask-wearing that is contributing to whopping numbers.

While partial lockdowns and new restrictions have been imposed in parts of Maharashtra, CM on Tuesday is likely to announce new norms for micro lockdown and declaration of containment zones.

The State Task Force head Dr. Sanjay Oak said in terms of precautions Mumbai and other cities will have to go back to the discipline of last summer. "There is no question of a new strain. No evidence has been placed before the Task Force indicate the rising numbers are attributable to a Covid-19 mutation," he said.

Reportedly, the task force has requested the state government to ramp up the vaccination centres in residential colonies or provide door-to-door services. The only silver lining in the current situation is the low death rate- 0.5 per cent in Mumbai and 2.5 per cent in the state.