Home / News / India /  Maharashtra: Uddhav warns of restrictions 'similar to lockdown' as he takes stock of Covid situation

Maharashtra: Uddhav warns of restrictions 'similar to lockdown' as he takes stock of Covid situation

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray assessed the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the state during a meeting with district magistrates.Premium
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray assessed the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the state during a meeting with district magistrates.

At a meeting with senior health officials and COVID task force, Maharashtra CM also said that the cases are rising because people are not following guidelines seriously that is why strict steps like lockdown are needed to be considered

Amid surge in novel coronavirus cases in the state, Maharashtra government said that it is mulling to impose restrictions "similar to a lockdown" in order to curb the virus spread.

The announcement comes after Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray held a high-level meeting with the authorities of the state. At a meeting with senior health officials & COVID task force, Uddhav instructed them to prepare for restrictions similar to lockdown if people continue to violate COVID-related rules, stated an official release.

Uddhav also said that the COVID cases are rising because people are not following guidelines seriously that is why strict steps like lockdown are needed to be considered.

CM also asked state and semi-government administrations to restrictions on visitors entry. He said that if the private establishments are not adhering to the 50% attendance rule, the state administration should prepare a plan for imposing lockdown.

State health department Dr Pradeep Vyas said there will be a "tremendous stress" on the availability of beds, oxygen supply, and ventilators, which could fall short if the cases continue to go up.

The members of the task force also expressed apprehension that the state might report 40,000 fresh cases in the next 24 hours.

During the meeting, the CM reviewed health infrastructure including availability of beds, oxygen, medicines etc. in the state to treat COVID-19 patients.

The task force then recommended that the state government implement measures like a stricter lockdown to stem the rise in coronavirus positive cases.

The chief minister has asked officials to prepare a detailed plan for implementation of a lockdown which will have a minimum impact on the economy of the state, the release said.

"There should not be any kind of confusion among the people once a lockdown is announced," the CM is quoted as saying.

Maharashtra has seen a huge rise in coronavirus positive cases over the last week. As many as one lakh new infections were added to the state's tally in such short period.

"24,619 cases had been reported on a single day in September, 2020. However, on March 27 this year, the state reported 35,726 new cases in a day. This number could touch 40,000 in the next 24 hours," the release said quoting the members of the task force.

Dr Vyas made a presentation on the current status of beds, ventilators, availability of oxygen during the meeting.

The health department has blamed the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases to the delayed response by citizens.

"People are not testing in time. They are not following COVID-appropriate behaviour. At the same time, private establishments are not following the 50 per cent attendance norms. There seems a casual approach towards home isolation. These all factors could be some of the reasons behind the spike in the cases," the department said.

The CM then directed officials to ensure sufficient supply of foodgrains, medicines and all types of medical services to address the challenge of the pandemic.

"The industry should produce 80 per cent of oxygen for medical reasons and remaining for other purposes," he said.

As per earlier orders, a night curfew will be imposed in Maharashtra from today 8 pm in view of the unabated rise in COVID-19 cases, an official statement said.

The curfew order will come into effect from Sunday night. Also, local authorities should ensure that shopping malls remain shut between 8 pm and 7 am, Thackeray ordered after a meeting.

He also warned of stricter restrictions if people did not observe COVID-19 safety protocol, an official release said.

Among the curbs, the state government has increased the fine to 500 from the existing 200 on anyone found without a mask in public in an attempt to contain virus surge.

The state government has issued a notification ordering the fresh guidelines implemented from March 27.

"Any person found to be without masks shall be fined an amount of 500. Any person found to be spitting in public places will be fined an amount of 1000", informed Maharashtra Government.

The government also ordered that restaurants, gardens and malls will remain shut between 8 pm to 7 am beginning Saturday night. People will also not be allowed to visit beaches during 8 pm to 7 am, an official order said.

Drama theatres will also remain shut from Saturday night.

However, the government has exempted delivery of food in night hours in its new set of guidelines.

"Gatherings of more than five people will not be allowed from 8 pm to 7 am effective from midnight on 27th March. Violation will attract penalty of 1,000 per person on offenders.

"All public places including gardens and beaches will remain closed during the same period and violators will be fined with 1,000 per person. Not wearing of face mask will attract 500 fine while the same is 1,000 for public spitting," as per the order.

It said that holding of social, cultural, political and religious gatherings in the state is being banned completely.

Auditoriums or drama theatres should not allow their property to be used for such events, it said.

In view of the rising graph of COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had on Friday directed officials to impose section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure under which gathering of five or more persons will be banned in night in the state beginning March 28.

Maharashtra recorded 36,902 COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest one-day rise since the pandemic began.

The chief minister had earlier reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the state in a meeting with divisional commissioners, district collectors, superintendents of police and deans of medical colleges.

"I do not wish to impose lockdown. But there seems a possibility of healthcare facilities falling short given the rise in number of coronavirus patients," Thackeray was quoted as saying.

He asked officials to ensure availability of adequate hospital beds and medicines, the statement said.

As many as 52 lakh people have been vaccinated in the state so far, as per the officials.

With inputs from agencies

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