Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) mayor Kishori Pednekar on Tuesday said that a lockdown may have to be imposed in Mumbai in view of the rise in Covid-19 cases "if people don't follow rules", news agency ANI reported.
On Monday, Maharashtra registered a total of 3,365 fresh Covid-19 cases, overtaking Kerala. Maharashtra emerged at the top spot in the country again after 42 days of slump in the number of cases.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had on Sunday said in Aurangabad, "We will have to take strict action after talking to the chief minister if cases continue to rise."
"I have come across (reports that) people are not following the Covid-19 guidelines which are aimed at checking the spread of the infection. If the situation worsens, we may need to pay heavy cost for this carelessness. The number (of new cases in the state) is alarming. We have seen that lockdown was imposed in many parts of the world again in view of the second wave of the pandemic," he had said.
"We have given instructions that the 3T formula of tracing, testing and treatment be implemented strictly, effectively. Testing needs to be increased. Meanwhile, people also need to follow Covid-19 guidelines," health minister Rajesh Tope said. The minister had said the situation needs to be controlled as "we don't want to go in for a lockdown now".
Meanwhile, additional municipal commissioner in-charge of the BMC’s public health department Suresh Kakani was quoted as saying by India Today that the state had decided to keep its jumbo Covid-19 centres open till March 31.
Kakani echoed Pawar and said that new restrictions may not be imposed again in Mumbai if people continued to cooperate with the authorities. “If people cooperate with us then there would not be any need for fresh lockdown or restrictions. This is what I would say. But we have said from Day 1 that if the numbers rise with the resumption of local trains we will have to put in strict measures as well," he was quoted as saying.
This was the highest number of cases detected in Maharashtra on a Monday since November 30. The state also reported 23 deaths. Its total caseload is now 20,67,643 and the toll 51,552. For the last six days in a row, the state has reported over 3,000 daily cases. As the number of case rose, the BMC started deploying mobile Covid-19 testing vans in some pockets of Dharavi fearing a possible resurgence in infections.
Another report in Times of India quoted officials as saying that some high-risk contacts were avoiding testing as they feared that the mandatory 14-day quarantine will lead to a loss of income. The report further quoted officials attributing the rise in cases to higher testing over the weekend.
Three states -- Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka -- cumulatively account for 77 per cent (76.5 per cent) of India's total active cases, the Health Ministry said. Kerala, Maharashtra together account for 74.72 per cent of the total active cases.