The Maharashtra government will hold a review meeting within the next couple of days to decide its next steps to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the state amid speculation that a fresh lockdown could be imposed, sources told CNN-News18.
While there is no proposal to impose any state-wide restrictions on movement of people at present, sources said the government is weighing all its options because of the rapid rise in cases, and the future course of action will be decided at the review meeting. Officials aware of the developments said CM Uddhav Thackeray is also likely to address the people of the state in the next two-three days.
Meanwhile, Mumbai’s guardian minister Aslam Shaikh said that people are being fined for violating Covid-19 protocols and decision on lockdown will be taken as and when needed. “Local authorities have been empowered to take decision on lockdown as and when necessary. If numbers continue to rise the same way then there is a possibility of night clubs being closed down first in the city. We cannot deny the possibility of a night curfew or partial lockdown if this continues. We are fining people for not wearing masks. We may have to shut places like beaches and Gateway where people gather in the evenings. People need to take precautions,” he said.
However, Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner told CNN-News18 that BMC has no proposal on lockdown so far. “We are going to have a meeting today evening. But there is no proposal in front of us for this. Not on agenda too,” he said.
In a slight respite for the administration, the number of fresh cases in the state dipped to 8744 on Monday, the health department said, after recording over 10,000 new coronavirus cases for the last three days. The active cases in the state have crossed 98,000 and there are fears that the active caseload could cross 2 lakh by April if the current trajectory of infections is not controlled.
Several districts in the state have already taken measures to curb the virus spread. The district administration in Nashik has imposed a weekend lockdown along with several restrictions starting Tuesday after the number of coronavirus cases rose in the district.
The administration said no weddings will be allowed from March 15. Marriage functions that had got permission earlier will be allowed to take place till March 15 after which no new nod would be given. Nashik division’s COVID-19 tally is 3,02,902 and the death count stands at 5,311.
Similarly, Thane administration has announced a lockdown between March 13 and 31 in 11 hotspots of the city. The order, issued by Thane Municipal Commissioner Vipin Sharma, said the decision was taken due to rise in Covid-19 cases in these areas in the past few days. It said all restrictions that were in place during the nationwide lockdown declared earlier would be in force during this time as well.
Earlier, the district administration in Aurangabad on Sunday ordered night restrictions from 9 pm to 6 am from 11 March to 4 April to contain virus spread. Along with that, there will be full lockdown on weekends, said Maharashtra Minister Eknath Shinde.