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Amid the massive surge in novel coronavirus cases in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a crucial meeting to review the Covid-19 situation in the state. Post-meeting, the CM gave an indication of a complete lockdown today, not announcing one.

Addressing the people of the state, Uddhav said, "I cannot rule out imposing a lockdown if the current COVID-19 situation prevails. People have become complacent."

He also stressed that a lockdown would impact the economy very severely, while adding that "nobody is following peak/non-peak rules for Mumbai local trains."

He also added that in a couple of days, strict restrictions will be issued to curb COVID-19 without stressing more about the kind of restrictions.

The CM also informed that in the coming days, the state government aims to conduct 2.5 lakh RT-PCR tests daily.

Maharashtra has been conducting more than 1.50 lakh tests every day on average for the detection of coronavirus positive cases.

The CM also informed that till now, the state government has administered 65 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses including 3 lakh vaccine doses yesterday. "Even after vaccination, some people are getting infected because they stop wearing masks," he highlighted.

The CM also asserted that there could be a shortage of healthcare infrastructure if the COVID-19 situation deteriorates.

"If the number of cases keeps increasing, there could be a shortage of healthcare infrastructure in the next 15-20 days," he said.

He also said, "We were able to control the virus as we fought together, but now, we have become reckless, what is Corona? People started saying," adding, "Due to Covid economy has suffered a lot."

Uddhav said weddings, parties, political rallies and morchas restarted with crowding. "This is despite my appeal to stop for a while. COVID1-9 pandemic is becoming serious, there is new variant," the CM reiterated.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra has been reporting the highest Covid-19 caseload in India, both in terms of active coronavirus positive patients and the total number of cases. On Friday, the state recorded the highest daily count of 47,827 new Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to 29,04,076, according to Health Department. Along with that, the state also registered 202 virus-related fatalities, highest in a single day this year.

Of these, Mumbai alone reported 8,832 new COVID-19 cases, its highest one-day rise since pandemic began, along with 20 fatalities, highest this year.

The state is already witnessing a night curfew from last Sunday under the Maharashtra government's 'Mission Begin Again' programme.

Under the ongoing restrictions in the state, gathering of five or more people will not be allowed from 8pm to 7am effective midnight March 27. All public places including gardens beaches will be shut between 8pm and 7 am.

Violation of the restrictions will attract a fine of  1,000.

Cinema halls, malls, auditoriums and restaurants will remain closed from 8pm to 7am. Home delivery and takeaway from restaurants will be allowed during the period.

No social, cultural, political, religious gathering will be allowed. Auditorium and drama theatres should not be used for conducting such gatherings. Not more than 50 people will be allowed during wedding ceremonies and not more than 20 people will be allowed during last rites.

Moreover, as Covid-19 cases explode in Pune district of Maharashtra, the state authorities today ordered an imposition a 7-day partial lockdown and a 12-hour night curfew to contain the spread. The orders will come into being from tomorrow.

Religious places, hotels and bars, shopping malls, and movie theatres will all remain closed for the next seven days, Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said Friday afternoon.

Only home deliveries of food, medicines and other essential services will be allowed in this period.

On Friday, the Centre chaired a high-level meeting with officials of states and UTs. During the meeting, eleven states and UTs were marked as "states of grave concern" because of their rising daily COVID-19 cases, have not shown a commensurate increase in enforcement of containment activities, the Centre said on Friday.

According to the health ministry, the 11 states of grave concern are Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Haryana.

They have contributed 90 per cent of COVID cases, 90.5 per cent of deaths in 14 days till March 31, and have crossed or close to crossing their early reported peaks last year, it said.

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