Mumbai: Amid a sudden spurt in COVID-19 cases in almost 21 of the total 36 districts in Maharashtra, the state government is contemplating the imposition of night curfew in major cities. The restrictions - between 6 pm and 9 am - are to curb the movement of people and control crowding, announced the Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar on Saturday. He said the state government has already directed the district collectors to take steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
As far as Mumbai is concerned, city mayor Kishori Pednekar said there is a possibility of imposition of night curfew if the rise in cases remains unabated.
On holding online or offline examinations of class 10 and 12, Wadettiwar said the government will soon take a decision.
“There has been a surge in COVID-19 cases from February 1. However, people are not taking due care as many of them are moving without masks. This is despite repeated calls by the state government to observe self discipline. However, if the cases will continue to rise and people do not adhere to COVID 19 norms, the state government will take a call on the imposition of night curfew,’’ said Wadettiwar. Civic and district administration have been directed to impose fines on people not wearing masks and also for crowding in weddings and other ceremonies.
Wadettiwar said if citizens continue to flout COVID-19 norms, then the government may consider a fresh lockdown.
Wadettiwar’s statement came on a day when 6,281 COVID-19 positive cases were reported in the state including 897 in Mumbai. The fatality rate has been reported at 2.48% at the state level but the daily positivity rate has been high in various districts.
The daily positivity rate of COVID-19 patients in Akola district is 32% and the weekly positivity rate is 24%. Amravati district has a daily positivity rate of 48% and 35% per week while Yavatmal district has a daily and weekly positivity rate of 15%. Comparatively, the daily positivity rate of the entire state is 8.8% and the weekly positivity rate is 7.76%.
Meanwhile, the Jalgaon district guardian minister Gulabrao Patil said if the number of patients rise the administration will take a call on the closure of schools.
The Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who is Pune district guardian minister, has convened a meeting on Sunday to discuss the imposition of a lockdown as already the district collector has introduced stringent measures to curb virus infection.
In addition, Kolhapur, Amravati, Akola and Yavatmal district collectors have also issued orders proposing additional restrictions including curfew and partial lockdown.