Maha should be ready for stricter steps:Tope on COVID-19 surge

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Mumbai, Mar 31 (PTI) Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said people should be ready for stringent measures in the coming days to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Talking to reporters here, Tope said saving lives is the government's priority, the minister told reporters here.

Maharashtra has seen a huge rise in coronavirus positive cases over the last week.

Struggling to arrest the fresh surge in COVID-19 cases, the state government last week announced a ban on all types of gatherings, including political and religious.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday asked officials to prepare a plan for implementation of a lockdown which will have a minimum impact on the state's economy.

On Tuesday, the constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government spoke in different voices on the need for a fresh lockdown in the state, with some leaders of the NCP and Shiv Sena questioning its effectiveness against the epidemic.

Tope, an NCP leader, on Tuesday said imposing a lockdown is the last option for the state government.

On Wednesday, the health minister said, 'People in the state should be ready for stricter and stringent measures in the coming days as COVID-19 cases are increasing.' 'Though the state does not want to implement a lockdown, saving lives is paramount. Thus, the state could undertake measures to curb further spread of the coronavirus,' he said.

On Tuesday, Maharashtra reported 27,918 new cases of coronavirus, taking the tally to 27,73,436.

Besides, 139 deaths due to COVID-19 were also reported on Tuesday, raising the toll in the state to 54,422, as per the health department. PTI ND GK GK