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Covid-19 Lockdown Extended in Maharashtra's Amravati District Till March 8 Amid Rising Cases

Men walk past a mural of frontline workers amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mumbai on December 21, 2020. (REUTERS)

Men walk past a mural of frontline workers amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mumbai on December 21, 2020. (REUTERS)

Twenty-eight out of 36 districts of Maharashtra have recorded a spike in the daily virus caseload.

Covid-19 lockdown has been extended in Maharashtra’s Amravati district for another week till March 8 due to rising cases. Officials told Hindustan Times that the lockdown has also been extended in Akola, Akot and Murjitapur. The officials said the situation in the district will be reviewed by March 5 and 6 to monitor any improvement and decision on the lockdown will be taken.

Twenty-eight out of 36 districts of Maharashtra have recorded a whopping spike in the daily coronavirus caseload in the past two weeks, which is up from 21 districts in the past 10 days. Districts in the Marathwada region like Latur, Hingoli, Parbhani, and Nanded are adding large numbers of active cases.

The health department’s data shows that active cases in the state have shot up, while new hotspots have emerged in Vidarbha, Amravati, Akola, and Yavatmal.

Amravati’s guardian minister Yashomati Thakur had previously said the lockdown in the district will be enforced till the morning of March 1. He had said that all shops, excluding those dealing with essential commodities, will remain shut including government and private educational institutions, coaching classes and training schools. However, people were permitted to buy items of daily use from 9am to 5pm.

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Coronavirus restrictions have also imposed in the regions of Akola, Washim, Buldhana and Yavatmal.

Meanwhile, the Centre on Saturday advised states and UTs reporting an increase in coronavirus cases to enforce COVID-appropriate behaviour by dealing firmly with violations and ensure effective surveillance in case of potential super spreading events so as not to squander last year’s gains. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a high-level review meeting with chief secretaries of states and UTs of Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir.

“They were advised not to lower their guard, enforce COVID appropriate behaviour and deal firmly with violations. It was strongly underlined that they need to follow effective surveillance strategies in respect of potential super spreading events,” the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

The need for effective testing, comprehensive tracking, prompt isolation of positive cases and quick quarantine of close contacts were also strongly emphasised. During the review meeting, states were advised to undertake vaccination on priority in districts reporting higher cases and monitor mutant strain and clustering of cases for early hotspot identification and control, the statement.

They have also been asked to improve the overall testing in districts reporting a reduction in testing, and increase RT- PCR tests in districts having high antigen testing. The states and UT were asked to refocuson surveillance and stringent containment in selected districts reporting reduced tests/high positivity and increased cases. They have also been asked to focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths and promote COVID-appropriate behaviour to ensure effective citizen communication to not let complacency set in, especially in light of vaccination drive entering the next phase, and enforcing stringent social distancing measures.

Six states Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat- have shown a surge in new cases in a span of 24 hours. Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,333. It is followed by Kerala with 3,671 while Punjab reported 622 new cases in the last 24 hours. In the last two weeks, Maharashtra has shown the highest rise in active cases from 34,449 on February 14 to 68,810 currently, the ministry said.

first published:February 27, 2021, 17:44 IST