Maharashtra mulls 2-3 week lockdown; decision likely after April 14, says health minister | India News

NEW DELHI: Possibilities of imposing a 2-3 week lockdown came up during a meeting of Maharashtra’s Covid task force, that was attended by chief minister Udhav Thackeray and other senior officials.
Speaking after the meeting on Sunday evening, state minister Aslam Sheikh said that there was unanimity over the need for a lockdown. SOPs and guidelines for the same are likely to be discussed in another meeting scheduled for tomorrow.
“Everyone was of the view to impose lockdown in the state. Some of the people in today’s meeting were of the view that a lockdown should be imposed for 2 weeks, some were in favour of a 3-week lockdown. A meeting will be held again tomorrow (Monday),” Sheikh said
State health minister Rajesh Tope said the chief minister will tke a decision on lockdown after discussing it in the cabinet, that is likely to meet on Wednesday.
“Duration of the lockdown and how to handle its economic fallout was discussed during today’s meeting. The task force is of the view that the prevailing coronavirus situation in the state is such that a lockdown is required,” Tope said.

CM Thackeray will have discussions with the finance and other departments to work out a likely relief package for poor workers who might be impacted in the event of a lockdown.
He also discussed setting up of oxygen generation plants, upgrading the number of beds and other medical facilities, besides availability of Remdesivir injections, in Sunday’s meeting.

Maharashtra is now under a weekend lockdown that will end Monday morning. However lockdown-like restrictions will continue, which means non-essential shops and services will remain shut. Restaurants will only cater to take-home deliveries.
The state has witnessed an alarming rise in Covid cases over the past few weeks, with 63,294 cases being reported on Sunday, the highest single day surge.
Several cities including Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur has emerged as hotspots. Mumbai reported nearly 10,000 new cases on Sunday and Nagpur over 7,200.
The chief minister said asymptomatic people are spreading coronavirus among the rest.
“Unnecessarily negligent people are putting the lives of others to risk. There is a need to break the virus chain by imposing a lockdown. A standard operating procedure (SoP) will be prepared after consultations,” he said.
Also, the state has reported a shortage in the supply of vaccines, forcing several vaccination centres to shut down.
The chief minister said he will once again request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide additional doses of vaccines to Maharashtra.
(With agency inputs)

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