Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has said he was 'worried about the severity of a second wave if it hits the state,' which has recorded nearly 52,000 deaths since the Covid-19 pandemic began
In view of the rising coronavirus cases, the Maharashtra government has announced a slew of new guidelines in the state including lockdowns and night curfews across several districts in a bid to curb the new surge of infections.
Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, said that he was "worried about the severity of a second wave if it hits the state," which has recorded nearly 52,000 deaths since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
"The simple mantra is wearing a mask, follow the discipline and avoid lockdown. We will review the situation again in the next eight days and decide on a lockdown," Thackeray has said in a live television address.
Elsewhere in the state, there were tighter restrictions.
Nagpur: Restrictions in place till 7 March
Maharashtra minister Nitin Raut has said strict restrictions have been set in place in Nagpur district in view of a recent surge in cases of coronavirus.
Speaking to reporters after chairing a review meeting, the district guardian minister said schools, colleges and coaching classes will remain shut from Tuesday till March 7, while major markets will not open on Saturdays and Sundays during this period.
Marriage halls will be non-operational from February 25 to March 7, and social, political, cultural events will also not be permitted, he added.
The district administration has been directed to ramp up Covid-19 testing to tackle the surge.
Amravati under week-long curfew
Amravati in Maharashtra will be placed under a week-long curfew from 8 pm on Monday due to the sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the district.
The district administration stated that only shops selling essentials commodities will be allowed to remain open during the curfew from 8 am to 3 pm.
Schools, colleges to remain shut till Feb 28 in Pune
All schools and colleges in the Pune district will remain closed till February 28, said Saurabh Rao, Divisional Commissioner Pune division on Sunday.
Rao said the decision was taken in a meeting chaired by the Guardian Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar.
Rao said that private coaching institutes and classes where physical interaction happens will also remain closed till February 28. He added that libraries, where competitive exams students study, will be allowed to operate with 50% capacity because competitive exams are nearing.
BMC collects ₹28 lakh fine
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has collected a total fine of ₹28 lakh so far from 14,000 people who were caught without face masks in public spaces.
This comes in light of the rising number of coronavirus cases being reported in Maharashtra during the last few days.
'Lockdown necessary in Maharashtra'
Independent Lok Sabha Member of Parliament Navneet Kaur Rana on Monday said a lockdown is necessary in Maharashtra after the rise in Covid-19 cases, but the common people should also get some relief from the strict norms.
"The speed with which Covid has started spreading during the second phase in Maharashtra has increased the possibility of another lockdown in many cities of the state and it has already started from Amravati, where a week's lockdown has been imposed," Rana told ANI.
60% of Maha ministers have tested Covid+
With senior NCP leader and Maharashtra Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal testing positive for the killer virus on Monday, around 60% of ministers in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government have contracted Covid-19 so far.
Apart from Bhujbal, Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, Food and Drug Administration Minister Dr Rajendra Shingne and Health Minister Rajesh Tope tested positive for Covid-19. Minister of State for School Education Omprakash alias Bachchu Kadu tested positive for a second time.
A total of 57,367 persons were administered Covid-19 vaccines in Maharashtra on Monday, taking the total tally of inoculations to 9,83,830.
According to an official statement, on Monday, 36,182 got the first dose while the remaining 21,185 were administered the second dose.
Among those who got the first dose, 10,947 were health care workers, while 25,235 were the frontline staff.
Of the total beneficiaries, 55,860 were administered the Covishield vaccine, while 1,507 were given Covaxin, it said.
Maha Covid tally below 6,000 after 3 days
Maharashtra reported 5,210 fresh Covid-19 infections on Monday, after logging over 6,000 cases for three days in a row, even as the Mumbai region, which has seen a bulk of state fatalities, did not report even a single death during the day, the health department said.
The state -- which has witnessed an upsurge in COVID- 19 cases since February 10 -- reported 6,112 infections last Friday (February 19).