Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has called an all-party meeting on Saturday, which will be held via video-conferencing, to review the Covid-19 situation of the state where the proposal of a complete lockdown is also likely to be discussed. The meeting will be attended by prominent leaders of the three parties involved in the MVA government, leaders of BJP, leaders of MNS, API, SP, and others.
The state government has announced a ‘strict lockdown’ over the weekend which will start from 8 pm on Friday (April 9) and be in place till 7 am on Monday (April 12).
A night curfew has also been imposed in the state which will be in effect from 8 pm to 7 am daily. Essential services will be exempted from the restrictions.All shops, dealing with non-essential services, have also been closed in the state, a decision which is facing protests from traders and political parties, including the BJP and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
As per the notification, essential services including medical, grocery, fruit, milk shops will be allowed to open. Hotels can run the delivery system. Section 144 has also been imposed prohibiting the assembly of five or more people throughout the day.
Maharashtra had on Friday reported 58,993 new cases of coronavirus, which pushed its overall tally to 32,88,540, while the death of 301 patients took the toll to 57,329, the state health department said.
While the BJP and the MNS are urging the state government to allow non-essential shops to function for at least a few hours in a day so that the impact on their businesses can be cushioned to some extent, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Friday said longer lockdown is needed in the present situation of the state. Relief and rehabilitation minister Vijay Wadettiwar too said a three-week lockdown is required to bring the situation under control.
On Friday, Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting with the representatives of private hospitals in the state and asked them to expand their capacity by adding more beds, roping in retired nurses and doctors for some time to tackle the recent surge.
The government has postponed the Maharashtra Public Service Commission examination which was scheduled on April 11. Whenever the examination is held, the age mentioned by candidates in the form will be considered, the Chief Minister’s Office confirmed.
The state has been recording more than 55,000 cases over the past few days. The highest single-day spike of 59,907 cases was reported on April 7. With a record number of 2,45,707 tests conducted during the day, the count of people who have been tested so far in the state has grown to 2,16,31,258.
Of the total number, 15.2per cent has tested positive for the virus. The state’s recovery rate is 81.96 per cent, while the fatality rate is 1.74 per cent, it said. Mumbai city registered a one-day spike of 9,202 cases.