Even though Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray did not announce a fresh lockdown in Maharashtra amidst the rise in COVID-19 cases, various districts in Vidarbha with a high positivity rate have imposed a slew of measures to curb the spread of the virus.
In Akola and Nagpur, amongst other districts in the Vidarbha region where the COVID-19 cases have surged since February 1, the district administration has taken decisions related to the closure of schools and colleges, restriction on the guest list for marriages and complete ban on religious functions. As reported by the Free Press Journal, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had directed the Nagpur and Amravati divisional commissioners to be vigilant and step up coronavirus containment measures.
In Akola, the district administration ordered the closure of schools from Standard 5 to Standard 9 and colleges. It has also banned religious and political events. Only 50 people are allowed to attend wedding ceremonies. The administration swung into action after 500 patients were found in the last one week.
The new guidelines will remain in place till February 28. Akola District Collector Jitendra Papalkar has announced the formation of joint squads for the strict implementation of these guidelines, which make it mandatory to use face masks and sanitisers and maintain social distance. The use of masks and sanitisers in hotels and restaurants has been made mandatory. Punitive action will be taken against the establishment that does not follow the COVID-19 norms.
The time for the wedding ceremony is limited to 10 pm. In rural and urban areas, five people cannot come together. Processions and rallies have also been banned.
As far as Nagpur city is concerned, the municipal corporation has intensified action against those who are not following the COVID-19 rules. The civic body’s flying squad imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000 at one wedding ceremony after it found that there were more people and vehicles than prescribed. At another hall, it imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 for the violation of norms with regard to the gathering of people.
In Wardha, the district collector announced the closure of agriculture and non-agriculture colleges till February amidst the rise in COVID-19 cases. Wardha district collector Prerana Deshbhratar issued new guidelines urging people to observe self-discipline.