Fresh curbs in Noida, TN, MP as states struggle to contain COVID spread

TN curbs to kick in from April 10; Maharashtra allows only essential services in worst-hit districts

A deserted crossing in Pune, Maharashtra, following a spurt in COVID cases. PTI photo

The Union Health Ministry said on Thursday (April 8) that 10 states — Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Punjab — have shown a steep rise in the daily COVID-19 cases, accounting for 84.21 per cent of the 1,26,789 new infections. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 59,907. It is followed by Chhattisgarh with 10,310 while Karnataka reported 6,976 new cases.

The onset of the second wave has led many states to tighten restrictions to contain the spread of the pandemic. Here’s looking at how some of the states have responded to the worst health crisis that India is facing:

Tamil Nadu: The state government on Thursday (April 8) imposed new curbs to contain the spread of the infection. An official release blamed the failure of the public to wear masks and maintain physical distancing in public places for the surge in cases.

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Also read: Can’t extend COVID shots to all, says Centre amid worrying case surge in 3 states

The state has decided on the new restrictions from April 10. Festivals and religious gatherings will be barred; at Koyambedu market complex in Chennai, retail fruit and vegetable shops cannot function and standing passengers not allowed in government and private buses across the state including MTC buses in Chennai. Similarly, in inter-state buses being operated to Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, standing passengers will not be allowed.

Only 50 percent customers will be allowed in vegetable shops, grocery shops, shopping malls and all showrooms, including big jewellery and textile showrooms. These will be allowed to function till 11 pm. In restaurants and tea shops, 50 per cent seating will be allowed till 11 pm and parcel services will also be allowed.

Only 100 persons will be allowed to attend wedding functions & funeral processions. Only 200 persons will be allowed in social, political, educational, entertainment, sports and cultural events.

Madhya Pradesh

The Madhya Pradesh government on Thursday announced a weekend lockdown in urban locales of the state to break the chain of the infection.

The 60-hour lockdown will be in effect from 6pm on Friday to 6am on Monday. “The crisis management group will take appropriate decision for other areas where cases are rising. For cities, containment areas will be marked and the crisis management group will decide on what to do in areas where the caseload is high,” Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said during a media interaction. He, however, didn’t clarify if the weekend lockdown will continue next week as well.

Besides, all urban areas in Madhya Pradesh will be under a daily night curfew (10 pm to 6am) till further orders. Also, all government offices will operate five days a week, from Monday to Friday, for the next three months. Additionally, Chhindwara district will be under complete lockdown from 8pm on Thursday for the next seven days.

Noida (UP)/Delhi: A night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am has been announced in Noida till April 17. The Delhi government on Tuesday (April 6) imposed a night curfew from 10pm to 5am till April 30 to curb the surge in Covid-19 positive cases. However, the night curfew, effective from April 6, will be relaxed for people engaged in essential services and others would need an e-pass to travel during the restricted hours.

Maharashtra: The state has been reporting the highest number of daily cases in the country over the past few weeks. On Wednesday, it recorded 59,907 new COVID-19 cases and 322 deaths in 24 hours. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday urged the people to cooperate with the state administration.

“Maharashtra has never been in such a serious and alarming situation. The health infrastructure is under stress. The state government decided to impose strict restrictions following the advice of the health experts as there were no other options left. The central government too has urged the state government to take some strict decisions,” he said in his live address to the people on Facebook.

As per the Maharashtra government guidelines, only essentials services are allowed to remain open. Hotels, restaurants, cinema halls, theaters, saloons, gyms, parlours, and clothing, shoes, toys, jewellery and furniture stories will have to shut their business till April 30.

The Mumbai civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said the city has a total 9.09 lakh registered establishments. There are 3.17 lakh shops, 5.74 lakh commercial establishments, 15,080 restaurants and eating houses, 897 theatres and other amusement centres. Over 80 per cent of these establishments have had to shut down their businesses this month.

Chhattisgarh: The state government on Wednesday (April 7) announced a complete lockdown in capital Raipur from April 9 to April 19. On April 6, the state had recorded 9,921 cases, the highest single-day spike since the outbreak of infection in March last year.

Expressing concern over the rate at which coronavirus cases and deaths are increasing in the state, the chief minister urged the people not to venture out of houses unnecessarily and follow safety protocols.

Gujarat: Fearing another lockdown, migrant workers and their families have started leaving Surat and Ahmedabad, two of the state’s most severely affected cities, media reports said. Government officials on April 8 said the number of those leaving was very low.

“There are no confirmed reports of a large number of migrants leaving the state. We have asked district authorities to ensure that workers do not face any trouble,” Gujarat Additional Chief Secretary, Labour and Employment, Vipul Mittra told PTI.

Since there is no lockdown and trains are also running, people are free to move anywhere in the country, he said. “Last year, there was a rush because the lockdown was imposed abruptly. Thus, as a precaution, migrants are going back home as they feel that transportation may not be available after some time,” the official said.

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on April 8 asked the state government to allow only those who have RTPCR negative reports with them at the borders with other states. The court also asked the government to run RTPCR tests on those who have already arrived in the state from outside and create containment zones if cases of COVID-19 are high in a particular region if it was not ready to impose a lockdown. The High Court observed that liquor shops have become a big source of COVID-19 and that there was no control on the crowds that are thronging them as well as pubs and cinema theatres.

The court expressed surprise over the government’s reply that it had registered 22,000 cases for violation of COVID-19 rules and guidelines while stating that the number was inadequate. The court, however, said it was not satisfied with the measures taken and wondered how the government could justify the small number of cases in which fines were imposed for violations.

Also read: COVID vaccine stocks empty at Mumbai centres; Centre to send 17L doses

Chandigarh: The Punjab government has decided to impose a night curfew till April-end. The night curfew will remain in place from 9 pm to 5 am daily across the entire state. The state government has also decided to ban political gatherings. Under the revised guidelines, the government had decided to extend the night curfew from nine to 11 such districts, including the industrial town Ludhiana and sports hub Patiala, where COVID cases are rising.

On average, Punjab traces about 15 Covid contacts, as opposed to the 25-30 set by the Union health ministry. In its poor performing districts, the number is even lower — between 1.4 and 9.9 contacts are traced per positive patient.

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