Mumbai: With Maharashtra contributing to more than half of the country’s total Covid-19 caseload in the recent past, the next two days are going to be crucial for the state amid the unprecedented surge in infections as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has hinted at another lockdown to curb the threat.

Maharashtra, which has reported the highest daily new cases at 47,913, alone accounts for nearly 60% of the country’s total active caseload.

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Expressing grave concern over the increasing cases, the Chief Minister on Friday said the decision with regard to imposing a lockdown may be taken after two days following consultations with experts and political leaders. He, however, added there is still a ‘possibility’ of lockdown to tackle the concerning situation of Covid-19.

“I want to appeal to everyone once more today. We have become a little complacent. Everything has started – weddings, agitations, as if coronavirus has completely gone. We have to be careful,” Thackeray said.

He also warned that Maharashtra would fall short of medical personnel if the number of cases continued to rise at the current rate.

Asserting the question before the government was how to break the chain of infection, Thackeray said “some strict restrictions will have to be imposed in the coming days”.

“In cities, we will need to avoid unnecessary crowding. In Mumbai, there is crowding during peak and non-peak hours in trains. There is crowding in restaurants and in other places as well,” he added.

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Taking note of the same, the state government announced a partial lockdown in the state’s cultural and IT capital Pune from Saturday. Pune will witness a 12-hour curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. for seven days during which the people have been advised to stay indoors. In addition, bars, hotels, and restaurants will remain closed during this period. Essential services have, however, been exempted from the guidelines and will operate on a regular basis.

The Maharashtra Government had earlier under the ‘Mission Begin Again’ programme imposed a night curfew in the state from March 27 with a warning that those violating the restrictions will attract a fine of Rs 1,000.

Under the ongoing restrictions in the state, gathering of five or more people will not be allowed from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. All public places, including gardens and beaches, have also been shut during this time.



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