Monday, June 14, 2021

Maharashtra CM warns of lockdown again as Covid cases rise in state

Mumbai: Concerned over the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday asked citizens to strictly follow government-mandated guidelines on masks and social distancing or be prepared to face another round of lockdown.

After reporting 4,092 COVID-19 cases on last Sunday, highest single-day tally in more than a month, Maharashtra registered 3,663 new cases on Tuesday, 461 of them in Mumbai. This was the seventh straight day when the state’s daily count remained above the 3,000-mark, indicating a steady rise in infections as compared to the previous few weeks.

Expressing concern over the lackadaisical attitude in following COVID-19-related safety protocols in the wake of phase-wise lifting of restrictions, he said it was up to citizens to decide if they want to go into a complete lockdown again to curb the spread of the infection. “It is up to the people of the state to decide if they want a lockdown or live freely with some restrictions.

Wear face masks and avoid crowds or else (you) will need to go into a lockdown again,” Mr Thackeray said. Alarmed over the surge in COVID-19 cases in the last few days in some districts, Thackeray held a review meeting with divisional commissioners and collectors through video conferencing to take stock of the situation.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was among those present on the occasion. The CM asked the administration to ensure safety norms like wearing face masks in public and social distancing are followed and authorised officials to take action against offenders. “People may have become complacent but the authorities should not (drop guard),” Thackeray said and asked the administration to regularly sanitise and disinfect public places.

Mobile vans should be used in rural areas to increase the number of COVID-19 tests, the chief minister said. Speaking at the meeting, Mr Thackeray said, Non- implementation of COVID-19 safety SoPs is a serious matter.

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