Home / News / India /  'Alarming situation': Uddhav Thackeray warns of another lockdown if Covid protocols flouted

With Maharashtra seeing a recent surge in Covid-19 cases, state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray warned that the government would be forced to take some harsh decisions, including lockdown, to avoid further spread of infection if safety norms are not followed.

The statement comes after Maharashtra reported 3,663 new Covid-19 cases and 2,700 recoveries on Tuesday. Thackeray has directed senior officials to take strict action against people or organisations who flout Covid-19 guidelines.

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In an editorial in its mouthpiece "Saamana", the Shiv Sena expressed displeasure over people violating pandemic guidelines and said: "The government has again issued a stern warning to the people of the state to follow the corona rules and restrictions for the coronavirus pandemic."

"Follow the rules -- otherwise the lockdown will have to be imposed again. The same warning has been given by the State Health Minister (Rajesh Tope) himself. The public should take it seriously," it said.

The party mouthpiece further said that the damage caused by the lockdown is being reversed by 'unlocking' it in a phased manner. "At such a time, due to the negligence of some overzealous people, the fear of 'corona' should not arise again," it said.

It reminded that due to coronavirus the country has suffered tremendously on all fronts be it finance or health. The editorial also stated that the government is planning adequate measures to curtail the spread of the virus.

BMC's warning

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said that it will review the rise in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai. "If the cases continue to rise and people ignore Covid norms and regulations, then BMC will not hesitate in taking a strong measure within the next 10 days," said additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani on Wednesday.

BMC mayor Kishori Pednekar had also earlier that another lockdown may be reimposed in Mumbai if people do not abide by Covid-19 norms.

"It's a matter of concern. Most people travelling in trains don't wear masks. People must take precautions else we'd head towards another lockdown," Pednekar said

"Whether lockdown will be implemented again, is in the hands of people," she added.

Passengers penalised

Amid a surge in cases, a total of 2,060 passengers on Mumbai suburban rail network have been penalised by central railways between 1 February and 14 February for not wearing masks. "A total fine of 1,21,600 collected from them," the railways said in a statement on Wednesday.

"2,558 passengers in Mumbai penalised between 1st to 14th February for not wearing masks, in a joint drive of BMC and Mumbai division of Railway. A total penalty of 3,28,500 collected from them," it added.

Maharashtra, Kerala see maximum number of cases

Kerala and Maharashtra, with 61,550 and 37,383 active cases respectively, account for 72% of the total active cases in the country.

The Union health ministry has asked to increase RT-PCR testing in both states.

"Over a period of time, both in Maharashtra and in Kerala, the number of RT-PCR tests have gone down and there is a need to substantially increase RT-PCR tests; this is something we have shared with both the states," said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday.

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