Two days before the third phase of the lockdown ends, Maharashtra has reportedly decided to extend the lockdown in key hotspot areas like Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Pune, Malegaon, Aurangabad and Solapur until May 31. No official statement has come out yet but reports suggest the decision was taken on Thursday morning at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. Other than in these three areas with a large number of coronavirus cases, the state is expected to follow the central government's guidelines.
Thackeray had earlier hinted the lockdown in the state might be extended till the end of the month as experts advised him the number of cases was expected to rise the most in May. Notably, Maharashtra is the most affected state when it comes to coronavirus pandemic in India. Maharashtra has reported 1,602 fresh coronavirus cases and 44 more deaths, taking the total tally to 27,524 so far, with 6,059 recoveries and 1,019 deaths. This has been the highest increase in COVID-19 cases so far.
Among the total cases, Mumbai alone accounted for 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in one day, taking the total cases to 16,579 and deaths to 621 in the city. Another major hotbed of coronavirus is Mumbai's Dharavi, which is Asia's largest slum. The area alone has over 1,061 cases and has reported 40 deaths. Pune has reported 194 new cases, taking the overall tally to 3,426, including 181 deaths.
Here's a list of areas that are major hotspots of coronavirus in Maharashtra and could see another lockdown for over two weeks after May 17.
- Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR)