As COVID-19 cases surge in the state of Maharashtra, government has imposed lockdown in three districts of the state. These three districts are Wardha, Amravati, and Yavatmal. Eight districts of Maharashtra have witnessed a sudden increase in the number of cases. In the last 24 hours, as many as 5,427 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the state. These eight districts, including Amravati, Vardha, and Akola, have seen a 17-plus percent rise in fresh infections.
In Wardha, a weekend night curfew has been imposed from 8 pm on Saturday (February 20), till 8 pm on Monday (February 22).
On Thursday (February 19), the district administration of Amravati declared a weekend lockdown in the district, from 8 pm on Saturday (February 20) to 7 am on Monday (February 22). Amravati District Collector Shailesh Naval said, “In view of a spurt in COVID-19 cases, I have decided to impose a weekend lockdown in the district. To avoid any stricter lockdown in the future, I appeal to people to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour”.
Meanwhile, Yavatmal district administration in the state has ordered a 10-day lockdown from Thursday (February 18) night. Yavatmal has witnessed a spike in positive cases since February 11. Yavatmal District Collector MD Singh said that the authority has decided to conduct around 500 tests per day in Yavatmal, Pandharkawada, and Pusad municipal corporations.
What will be allowedIn Wardha, only essential services and medical stores will be allowed to operate during the curfew period while in Amravati, only essential services will remain unaffected. Amravati Collector Shailesh Naval said all establishments, including hotels and restaurants, would stay open only till 8 pm (from earlier 10 pm) on weekdays while only five people will be allowed at religious ceremonies. In Yavatmal district, apart from essential services being operational, only fifty people will be allowed at weddings.
What will not be allowedPetrol pumps and fuel stations will remain closed in Wardha. Wardha District Collector Prerna H said that schools and colleges in the district have also been ordered to be closed till further notice. In Amravati, during the weekend lockdown, all markets and other establishments will remain shut. Swimming pools and indoor games, too, will remain closed. In Yavatmal, schools and colleges will remain closed till further notice and no religious functions will be allowed.
On February 18, after a gap of 75 days, Maharashtra reported more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases, a sizeable number of them coming from Akola and Nagpur divisions. The caseload in the state rose to 20,81,520 while 38 fatalities took the death toll due to the pandemic to 51,669 in the state.