Two-week lockdown in Thane amid surge in COVID cases

All restrictions that were in place during the nationwide lockdown declared earlier will be in force during the period

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said the government is on a 'war footing' to increase the number of beds in the state

The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) on Monday announced a lockdown in 11 areas in the city between March 13 and 31.

The order, issued by TMC commissioner Vipin Sharma, said the decision was taken due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in these areas.

All restrictions that were in place during the nationwide lockdown declared earlier will be in force during this period, the order said.

As on Monday morning, Thane district’s caseload was the caseload of Thane district was 2,69,845, including 6,302 deaths.

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Also read: Full list of COVID restrictions in Maharashtra

In Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh said city authorities will soon take a decision on imposing restrictions or lockdown.

“In a meeting on Monday, the chief minister [Uddhav Thackeray] instructed the municipal corporation and the collector to decide on the imposition of lockdown. It can be a night curfew, complete or partial lockdown. Cases are on the rise in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra. Nightclubs are likely to be shut first,” Shaikh said. “After the assembly session, a decision has to be taken to ban [people from] places like Chowpatty and Gateway of India, where there are unwarranted crowds. People often travel from Mumbai to Pune and Mumbai to Thane. Officers have been asked to check if restrictions on travel are needed,” he said.

On Monday Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had described the situation in the state as “alarming”, and warned that strict measures would have to be taken to bring it under control.

In an interview with NDTV, the minister blamed people for lowering their guard and not taking the “gravity” of the situation seriously. However, he said there had been some “complacency” on the part of the government as well.

“People are taking it for granted. There is no gravity in people’s minds. There was a bit of complacency in the government machinery, too, in adhering to rules,” Tope said.

Also read: 5 states see spike in new COVID cases; Maharashtra tops with 6,100 in 1 week

Tope said he feared that the situation was reaching an alarming stage, adding the government had empowered district administrations to decide on lockdowns. The state was also mulling over increasing the penalty for non-adherence to rules, he added.

Maharashtra leads among the six states that are reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases. These six states – the other five are Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu – cumulatively account for 86.25 per cent of new coronavirus cases, the health ministry said on Monday.

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