Over three weeks have passed since the Maharashtra government imposed strict restrictions to check the spread of coronavirus but the daily average of cases is still over 50,000 which is a matter of concern, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Saturday. Citing the Union government, Tope said COVID-19 cases have dipped in 12 out of the total 36 districts in Maharashtra, but in some other districts, the cases are on a higher side.
The lockdown-like curbs announced by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray came into effect on April 14 that included the ban on inter-city as well as inter-district travel and the closure of non-essential services in the state. These measures, including the weekend restrictions on the movement of people, were later extended till May 15.
The state government had allowed groceries, vegetable shops and dairies to remain open only for four hours, between 7 am and 11 am from Monday to Friday and banned home delivery after 8 pm till May 1. “The government had introduced lockdown-like measures but the average number of daily cases is still hovering between 50,000 and 60,000. The positivity rate, which is the key factor in deciding the (extent of) outbreak of the pandemic, is still on a higher side," Tope told reporters.
The health minister said the government will review the situation and decide on whether to extend these lockdown-like measures or not. “The state government is stressing on tracking, tracing and treating COVID-19 patients to curb the outbreak," he added.
As of May 7, Maharashtra’s COVID-19 tally stood at 49,96,758 while the overall death toll is 74,413. The state had tested 2,89,30,580 samples so far, the health department had said.