Mumbai: City streets near Taj Hotel wear a deserted look during weekend lockdown, imposed to curb the surge in coronavirus cases in Mumbai, Sunday, April 18, 2021.
Mumbai: City streets near Taj Hotel wear a deserted look during weekend lockdown, imposed to curb the surge in coronavirus cases in Mumbai, Sunday, April 18, 2021.
(PTI Photo)

The Maharashtra Government today announced to extend the ongoing lockdown like curbs imposed in the state till May 15.

The lockdown in Maharashtra will be extended by another 15 days beyond April 30, state Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday. He said all members of the cabinet, who participated in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, pitched for such extension.

"It (the lockdown) will be extended by 15 days," Tope said.

In view of the alarming rise in the COVID-19 cases, the Maharashtra government on April 4 announced a weekend lockdown and restrictions on the movement of people in the night during the weekdays till April 30.

The government had also clamped other restrictions like the closure of private offices, theatres and salons to curb the unprecedented surge in the cases.

Senior ministers Chhagan Bhujbal, Vijay Wadettiwar and Uday Samant on Tuesday made a strong case for further extending the lockdown as they feel the current phase has thrown up a few positive results, especially in terms of stabilization in corona cases, increase in positivity and reduction in the fatality rate.

This apart, the state cabinet also decided on providing 12 crore free vaccines to 5.71 crore people in the age group of 18-44. The state has decided to spend a whopping Rs 6,500 crore for free vaccination beginning May 1.

Bhujbal, Wadettiewar and Samant had separately said the lockdown should be extended as relaxation will lead to crowding and defeat the very purpose of breaking the virus chain. Wadettiewar suggested that the lockdown extension is necessary, especially in Vidarbha and Marathwada, in the view of the galloping COVID 19 cases.

They have also said that lifting of lockdown may lead to rise in cases which will further put constraints on the health infrastructure and in the procurement of oxygen, Remdesivir and other medical equipment

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