Lockdown in Maharashtra? As State Battles New Surge of Covid-19 Cases, Here's the Official Version

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Amid the rapid surge in coronavirus cases in several districts in Maharashtra, the local body Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the state government do not want a lockdown at all.

Speaking to CNBC-TV19, the commissioner said that neither does the CM nor the municipal corporation is in favor of imposing a lockdown, however, what the chief minister is hoping for is the strict adherence to the current Covid-19 restrictions which might help the state in tiding over the crisis.

BMC commissioner said that Mumbai had 15,000 beds lying empty and 1,000 ICU beds empty.

"We have almost 7,000 oxygen beds available, 1,000 ambulances on the dashboard and robust online dashboard of 147 hospitals, all these things are very reassuring especially when only 15 percent of people are coming symptomatic," he said.

However, he also pointed out that despite being armed with medical equipment, the next 15 days would be very critical for Mumbai in assessing the covid situation.

Dismissing the claims that Mumbai is heading towards a second wave, he noted, "I will call it a surge, not a second wave right now. On February 14, 2021, it started rising. We used to have 350-400 cases a day in the last 60 days but on February 14, we got 529 cases and it kept on building up by 100 added every day. However, today, the cases have gone down to 750 from 950 as compared to the day before yesterday,".

Enlightening further on the ongoing situation, Chahal said that the playgrounds, sports complexes, marriage venues need to ensure SOPs are followed and warned of strict action on those failing to do so. While the virus load had gone down in the slums there were instances of a surge in cases amongst the middle class and upper-middle class.

The local body fined 16,400 people on Sunday for not wearing masks and collected Rs 33 lakh in fines, he informed.

Meanwhile, India recorded 1,00,990 fresh cases between February 15-21, the tally was 31 percent higher than the last week's case count- 77,284. The sudden spike was recorded in Maharashtra which witnessed a whopping 81 percent week-on-week rise in recorded infections.