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In view of the spike in the number of novel coronavirus cases, Mumbai has made RT-PCR Covid-19 test report mandatory for people entering the shopping malls.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday announced that it will make the Rapid Antigen Test facility to take samples for Covid-19 testing compulsory for all malls in the city. The new rule will come into effect from 22 March.

If visitors don't have a negative Covid-19 test report, they will have to get a Rapid Antigen Test done at the entrance of the shopping mall.

"A team will be designated at the entrance for this very purpose. The details are being worked out," the Mumbai civic body said.

This comes a day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had asked divisional commissioners to ensure that restrictions announced to curb the spread of Covid-19 are implemented strictly.

CM Thackeray had met mall owners earlier and given a last warning on flouting of Covid-19 protocols.

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar has said that all city residents have to work together to curb the spread of the virus and avoid the imposition of a lockdown.

"I think imposing a night curfew is necessary right now. We are also considering shifting the crowded markets to new sites. All Mumbaikars need to work together to prevent the imposition of a lockdown," said Pednekar.

'Lockdown isn't the solution'

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said that lockdown isn't the solution to rising Covid-19 cases in the state.

The Maharashtra Health Minister said the state is at the second position in Covid vaccination, next only to Rajasthan.

"The state has ranked second at the national level in Covid-19 vaccination. Rajasthan is ahead of us," he said in a tweet.

"The state is also low on vaccine going waste. It is 6% in Maharashtra as against some states in the country where the figure is as high as 20%. We are trying to achieve zero wastage of vaccines and steps are being taken in this direction," Tope said.

Mumbai division reported 4,811 new cases and 21 deaths, which pushed its overall caseload to 7,71,389 and death toll to 19,995.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Thursday recorded as many as 25,833 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day spike since last March when the first case of coronavirus infection was detected. This took the state's caseload to 23,96,340, while the death toll jumped to 53,138 with 58 new fatalities.

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