In view of the rise in fresh COVID-19 cases, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday asked officials to prepare a plan for implementation of a lockdown which will have a minimum impact on the economy on the recommendation of the state COVID-19 task force, an official release said.
In a meeting held with the chief minster, Health Minister Rajesh Tope and other officials, members of the task force expressed apprehension that the state might report 40,000 fresh cases in the next 24 hours, it said.
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During the meeting, the CM reviewed health infrastructure including availability of beds, oxygen, medicines etc. in the state to treat COVID-19 patients.
The task force then recommended that the state government implement measures like a stricter lockdown to stem the rise in coronavirus positive cases.
The chief minister then asked officials to prepare a detailed plan for implementation of a lockdown which will have a minimum impact on the economy of the state, the release said.
"There should not be any kind of confusion among the people once a lockdown is announced," the CM is quoted as saying.
Maharashtra has seen a huge rise in coronavirus positive cases over the last week. As many as one lakh new infections were added to the state's tally in such short period.
"24,619 cases had been reported on a single day in September, 2020. However, on March 27 this year, the state reported 35,726 new cases in a day. This number could touch 40,000 in the next 24 hours," the release said quoting the members of the task force.
Struggling to arrest the upsurge in coronavirus positive cases, the CM on Friday directed officials to impose section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure under which gathering of five or more persons will be banned in night in the state, beginning March 28.
On Saturday, the state government announced a ban on holding of all types of gatherings, including political and religious. It also ordered that restaurants, gardens and malls will remain shut between 8 pm to 7 am beginning Saturday night. People will also not be allowed to visit beaches during 8 pm to 7 am.
Maharashtra on Saturday reported 35,726 new coronavirus positive cases, the second-highest daily rise, which took the tally to 26,73,461.
At 166, the state reported the highest number of fatalities due to COVID-19 in this year so far.
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