In view of the rising COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, the district administration on Thursday announced a weekend lockdown in Amravati. However, essential services will remain unaffected.
The lockdown will be implemented from 8 pm on Saturday to 7 am on Monday, a period during which markets and other establishments will remain shut. Collector Shailesh Naval said on weekdays, all establishments, including hotels and restaurants, would stay open only till 8 pm (from earlier 10 pm).
“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,” Naval said. He said during the weekend lockdown all markets and other establishments will remain shut.
“Swimming pools and indoor games, too, will remain closed, while only five people will be allowed at religious ceremonies,” he said. Of late, Maharashtra has been witnessing a steady rise in COVID-19 cases.
Meanwhile, restrictions have also been put in Yavatmal district, said District Collector MD Singh. “Restrictions are being put in place in Yavatmal district due to rising COVID-19 cases. It is not a lockdown,” said Singh.
The state reported 4,787 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest one-day count in more than two months. Among districts, Amravati reported 230 cases on Wednesday, a sharp rise from 82 infections registered on Tuesday. A few other districts in the Vidarbha region have also registered a steady rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his deputy Ajit Pawar discussed the issue on Thursday morning. Talking to reporters, Pawar had said Thackeray has convened a meeting in the afternoon to discuss the situation and what decision is to be taken in connection with these cities.
Of late, Maharashtra has been witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases. The state reported 4,787 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest one-day count this year. The Akola Municipal Corporation, which reported 67 cases under its areas on Tuesday, recorded 105 cases on Wednesday, an official earlier said.
The deputy chief minister has noted that till January-end, the number of COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals after recovery was higher, while the number of positive patients reported in the entire state was less. “But from February 1, positive cases started increasing in different areas (of the state). It is more evident in the Amravati division,” Pawar said.
In view of the recent spurt in cases, Chief Minister Thackeray on Tuesday warned that if COVID-19 norms are not followed, people should be prepared for a fresh round of strict lockdown. The government in January extended the coronavirus- induced lockdown in the state till February 28, even as a lot of restrictions have been eased in the last few months. The government’s guidelines to operationalise ‘Mission Begin Again’ for easing of restrictions and phase-wise opening will remain in force till February 28, it had said.