If COVID-19 cases don't reduce in Mumbai, the administration will have to consider imposing a partial lockdown, said Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh on Monday. His remarks comes in the wake of a huge surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra.
Shaikh told TOI that the option of imposing a partial lockdown in Mumbai was discussed at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. He said that the CM expressed concern that active cases have gone back to the peak ranges seen in September last year.
The Guardian Minister said that the government will first try to control the infection by implementing measures like imposing fines for not wearing a mask or crowding at marriage halls and pubs. Institutional quarantine could be one option and increasing testing and speeding up vaccination programmes on a mass level could be other options. "Finally a partial lockdown could be imposed if cases continue to increase," Shaikh added.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the COVID-19 situation in the state is alarming. "We have to take strict measures. Lockdowns can be imposed if required for some districts. We have empowered the district administrations to decide on lockdowns," Tope told NDTV. "People need to adhere to rules. We can increase the penalty for non-adherence," he added.
On Sunday, Maharashtra added 11,141 new infections, taking the tally to 22,19,727 while 38 deaths pushed the toll to 52,478, the state Health department said. This was the highest single-day surge since October 16, when the state had reported 11,447 cases.
Besides, Mumbai city reported 1,361 fresh cases during the day while Mumbai division, including Mumbai and satellite cities, added 2,493 new infections. Mumbai city's case tally reached 3,35,569 while the overall death toll rose by four to 11,504, the department added.