Nine out of the 10 worst-affected districts in India are in Maharashtra, the Union Health Ministry said during a weekly briefing in New Delhi on Wednesday, adding that the situation is of ‘grave concern’ even as the state reported 28,699 new infections in the last 24 hours.
| With 43,590 active cases, Pune tops list
While the Pune administration has ruled out the possibility of a lockdown, authorities are cracking down on establishments fluting Covid-19 norms. Apart from a night curfew across the city, schools, colleges and private coaching classes in the city have been closed, and private offices are allowed to operate only with 50 per cent staff.
| Nagpur is close behind with 33, 160 active cases
The city was under a weeklong lockdown from March 15-21. The restrictions have been retained with some relaxations till March 31. Restaurants and eateries have been allowed to operate only till 7 pm while shops can remain open till 4 pm. All offices – private and government – are functioning only with 25 per cent staff.
| Mumbai is a surprising third with 26,599 cases despite record-breaking numbers
Amid too many flip-flops and contradictory statements by the city and state administrations, although no complete lockdown has been imposed in Mumbai, the civic authorities have introduced a slew of curbs, including making it mandatory for visitors to carry negative RT-PCR tests to enter malls.
| Neighbouring Thane is on the fourth spot with 22,513 cases
The Thane administration had imposed a complete lockdown in 11 hotspots earlier this month apart from enforcing curbs specified by the state government like the ban on all gatherings, curfew in containment zones and asking theatres, malls, auditoriums and halls to work at 50 per cent capacity.
| Fifth is Nashik with 15,710 active cases
The Nashik district administration has imposed several restrictions: shops and establishments except those involved in essential services can not function between 7 pm and 7 am. Educational institutions are currently shut in the district.
| In the sixth Place is Aurangabad with 15,380 cases
A partial lockdown is in place in the district till April 4, and malls, markets, and cinema halls have been ordered to remain shut during weekends. Tourist spots like the iconic Ajanta and Ellora caves are also closed on the weekends. There is a total ban on wedding functions while restaurants are allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity till 9 pm and home delivery of food is allowed till 11 pm.
| The only district from another state is Bengaluru with 10,766 cases
Worried over surging cases, earlier this week the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had proposed to the state government to reduce seating capacity in cinema halls and shutting open-air gymnasiums in public parks. But it soon snowballed into a major controversy as several film stars condemned the move forcing the state government to issue a clarification that it was not mulling any such curbs.
| With 10,106 cases, Nanded takes the eighth spot
All places of worship are shut in Nanded till March 31 to prevent crowding on festivals. The city administration has also directed that shops will be allowed to operate from 7 am to 5 pm, expect for those engaged in essential services.
| Jalgaon is ninth with 6,087 cases
Apart from a ‘Janta Curfew’ for a few days earlier this month, the Jalgaon administration has imposed a night curfew and has warned violators of strict penal action.
| Akola is at the bottom of the list with 5,704 cases
The district observes a complete lockdown from 8 pm on Friday to 8 am on Monday. Only essential services are allowed to remain open.
The surge of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra and Punjab is of “grave concern”, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the Centre held a meeting with health officials of Maharashtra and Punjab on Saturday to talk about refinement in their strategy to tackle the surge. According to the health ministry data of Wednesday, Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 28,699. It is followed by Punjab with 2,254 and Karnataka with 2,010 cases.