No decision on fresh lockdown yet: Maha CM Uddhav Thackeray

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra over the last few days, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has on Tuesday directed divisional commissioners and district collectors to be vigilant and take steps accordingly in areas where the COVID-19 positivity rate is high.

Thackeray has also asked divisional commissioners and district collectors to strictly implement COVID-19 protocol, SOPs, and impose penalties for non-compliance in order to curb rapidly rising cases in the state. However, the Chief Minister said that no decision has yet been taken regarding a fresh lockdown in the state.

"Over the past year we have set rules (SOPs) for various sectors, but looks like it isn't being implemented. Now, wedding ceremonies have started, gatherings, parties, and other social events are seen taking place without following any rules. We have extended the times of restaurants and hotels but rules are being flouted. Local administration teams should visit all such places and take strict action," Uddhav said.

On Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had warned that the state government may have to take harsh steps to contain the spread of coronavirus and urged the people to be prepared for the same. "I have come across reports that people are not following the COVID-19 guidelines which are aimed at checking the spread of the infection. If the situation worsens, we may need to pay a heavy cost for this carelessness,’’ said Pawar.

This comes after the state is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases. On Sunday, the state reported 4,092 COVID-19 cases--the highest single-day tally in more than a month. On Monday too, the daily count remained above 3,000.

According to the state government report, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Jalgaon, Dhule, Jalna, Beed, Latur, Parbhani, Hingoli, Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Nagpur, and Wardha are the districts where the number of active COVID-19 cases has seen a rise.

As of Monday, Maharashtra's COVID-19 tally is as follows: Positive cases: 20,67,643; new cases3,365; deaths: 51,522; discharged 19,78,708; active cases: 36,201; people tested so far: 1,53,59,026.

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