Maharashtra is considering imposing a strict lockdown this week after recording the highest one-day jump in coronavirus infections of any state since last March, officials said. The state tightened travel restrictions and imposed night curfews as it reported 40,414 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, almost two-thirds of the national total, many of them in the densely-populated financial capital Mumbai.
“In (Sunday’s) meeting of the (Covid-19) task force, it was suggested that very strict restrictions like lockdown should be imposed immediately," the office of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said in a statement. A senior official in the state government said the lockdown could take effect “in the coming days" as officials had been asked to prepare to implement it in a phased manner.
In the meeting held with the chief minister, Health Minister Rajesh Tope and other officials, principal secretary to 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. 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.
Mumbai reported the highest number of new cases in a day on Sunday, by adding 6,933 infections, taking its overall tally to 3,98,724. With eight more deaths, Mumbai’s fatality count rose to 11,653, the department said.
In Mumbai Metropolitan region (MMR), Thane city reported 1,217 cases in a day while the Kalyan Dombivli municipal corporation added 1,081 new infections. Pune city and neighbouring Pimpri Chinchwad (PCMC) township reported 4,625 and 2,131 new cases, respectively.A total of 1,568 cases were reported from other areas in Pune district.
The number of cases in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) stood at 2,66,875 while the tally in PCMC areas is 1,30,194. The total number of cases in Pune district is 1,19,386, a health official said. Nashik city recorded 2,403 fresh cases, taking its caseload to 1,10,453. In the district minus Nashik city, 1,159 cases were detected in the day.
In Marathwada region, Aurangabad city reported 1,031 new cases while 770 infections were detected in Nanded city, as per the department. In Jalna district bordering Aurangabad 349 new cases were detected.
Nagpur city added 2,981 infections during the day while the district reported 1,018 new cases. With 1,65,591 new tests, the number of samples tested so far for coronavirus in Maharashtra went up to 1,93,58,341, the health department said.