Maharashtra Health Minister on Monday called the Covid-19 situation in the state “alarming” and warned that strict action may have to be taken to control cases. He is set to meet with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, state District Collectors, and Police Commissioners to discuss response plans.
NDTV reported that Tope also used the word “lockdown” in reference to some districts, but only “if required”. Tope held people responsible for the worsening coronavirus situation in the state, but also admitted complacency on the government’s part.
“People need to adhere to rules. We can increase the penalty for non-adherence,” Mr Tope told NDTV.
Six States Account for 86% Cases: Govt
Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are the six states that cumulatively account for 86.25 per cent of the new coronavirus cases reported in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Monday. Maharashtra has reported a maximum of 11,141 fresh cases in a single day, accounting for 59.90 per cent of the total new cases recorded while Kerala registered 2,100 new infections that account for 11.29 per cent of the new infections.
In the last 24 hours, a total of 18,599 new cases were registered, the Health ministry said. The Centre is regularly holding high-level review meetings with the states and Union Territories showing a surge in new daily cases and the health secretary is also holding weekly review meetings, it said.
The central government said it had already deputed high-level teams to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Jammu and Kashmir to support them in their fight against the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. “These teams interact with the state/UT authorities and get a firsthand understanding of the challenges and issues being faced by them so as to strengthen their ongoing activities and remove bottlenecks, if any,” the ministry said.
It said eight states and Union territories — Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Haryana — were displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases. They have a weekly positivity rate more than the national average of 2.29 per cent. Maharashtra has the highest weekly positivity rate with 11.13 per cent, the government said.
Partial Lockdown in Aurangabad
The administration in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad had on Sunday decided to impose a “partial lockdown” in the district between March 11 and April 4, as part of which markets, malls and cinema halls shall remain shut during the weekends, officials said. The world-famous heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora, and other tourist spots in the district will also remain shut on Saturdays and Sundays, while marriages will not be allowed to be held in function halls during the lockdown period, they said.
Colleges, schools and training institutes will remain shut, they said. The decision to implement this partial lockdown across the district was taken during a meeting of the ‘task force’ comprising Collector Sunil Chavan, Municipal Commissioner Astik Kumar Pandey, Police Commissioner Nikhil Gupta, Superintendent of Police Mokshada Patil and other officials.