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CM Uddhav Thackeray calls for Maharashtra cabinet meet as Corona cases surge

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Mumbai: Amid the unprecedented surge in Covid-19 case, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, called out for a cabinet meet on Sunday to discuss the situation and to shed light on further rules and measures to be enforced to control the spread of the virus. The meeting will be conducted via video conferencing to maintain social distancing.

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Maharashtra reported nearly 50,000 new cases on Saturday, which accounts for around 60 per cent of all cases reported from across the country on that day. On Friday the state reported around 48,000 cases.

Meanwhile, state capital Mumbai reported over 9,000 cases on Saturday – the most in a day since the pandemic began in December 2019. Whereas, on Friday the city reported over 8,800 new cases.

One of the biggest cities in the state, Pune, has also reported alarming figures; on Friday the district administration ordered a 12-hour night curfew and the shutting down of shopping malls, religious places, and hotels and bars for a week, as well as that of public buses.

According to the centre, eight of the top 10 worst-affected districts in India are from Maharashtra.

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The state’s medical infrastructure – battered after earlier waves of infections – is under more pressure.

On Saturday the Chief Minister warned that rising daily demand for oxygen cylinders would soon force him to divert those meant for industrial use as well. Last week the Mumbai civic body warned of a shortage of beds as it prepped for a potential 10,000 new cases per day.

On Friday Mr Thackeray, had said that he could not rule out a second lockdown to combat the spike in coronavirus cases in the state, even at the potential catastrophic cost to the economy.

“I cannot rule out imposing a lockdown if current Covid situation prevails. People have become complacent. We are in a Catch-22 situation – should we look at economy or health?” he said.

“If this condition continues, I have told you already that in 15 days we will exhaust our infrastructure. So today I am giving a warning of a lockdown. Not announcing a lockdown yet. But if I don’t find a solution in two days after speaking to more people, then I have no option,” he said.

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The continuing spike in cases has led to Maharashtra being identified as a state of “grave concern” by the centre, which has rushed teams of medical experts to the state.

Meanwhile, where Mr Thackeray has called for a state cabinet meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also holding a meeting with top government officials in New Delhi, to discuss Covid situation in Maharashtra and the country.

The centre has already asked states to take strict measures to enforce Covid-appropriate protocols, including the use of face masks and maintaining social distance. T

The government also blamed growing laxity in implementing the safety measures for the current spike in Covid cases, however, scientists have pointed to the proliferation of mutant strains.

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