New Delhi: As India reported an unprecedented surge of 1,45,384 fresh coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest single-day surge so far, Mumbai emerged as one of the worst-affected states.
Several states have imposed night curfews and Covid-19 restrictions and others are looking at imposing strict lockdowns to contain the spread of the second wave.
Maharashtra: Decision on Lockdown in Next 2 Days
Maharashtra reported 55,411 new coronavirus cases, 53,005 recoveries and 309 deaths. With the addition of new cases, the total number of cases not stands at 33,43,951, total recoveries at 27,48,153, the death toll at 57,638 and active cases at 5,36,682.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday called an all-party meeting to review the current Covid-19 situation in the state. While no final decision was taken regarding the lockdown, sources said the state government is likely to take a call within the next two days.
“The number of patients is increasing so fast that if we do not decide on a lockdown today, a lockdown-like situation will automatically arise tomorrow. Today the situation is getting worse. We are also constantly considering COVID-19 task force experts in the state. “On the one hand there is a public sentiment but on the other hand, there is an outbreak of coronavirus, in which case if you want to win this battle you have to go through some hardships,” a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) quoted him as saying.
A total of 53,005 people were discharged during the day, taking the count of recoveries in Maharashtra so far to 27,48,153. The case recovery rate is 82.18 per cent while the fatality rate is 1.72 per cent.
With 2,19,977 new tests, the total number of samples tested so far in Maharashtra has gone up to 2,18,51,235, the department said. The case positivity rate in Maharashtra is 15.3 per cent.
Currently, 30,41,080 people are in home quarantine while 25,297 others remain admitted in institutional quarantine in the state, it said. Mumbai on Saturday reported 9,330 fresh cases and 28 deaths, taking the count of infections to 5,10,512 and the toll to 11,944.
Mumbai division, comprising Mumbai and satellite towns, reported 18,241 new cases and 89 deaths during the day, raising the tally to 10,64,221 and the fatality count to 21,028, as per the department. Nashik division added 7,856 cases, including 1,944 in Nashik city.
Pune division reported 11,749 infections, including 4,925 in Pune city. Kolhapur division added 1,040 cases,Aurangabad division 2,190, Latur division 4,593, Akola division 1,369, and Nagpur division 8,373, including 3,696 cases in Nagpur city.
Delhi: No Lockdown, But New Restrictions
Reporting the second-highest daily spike in coronavirus cases in the county on Saturday, Delhi is also adversely affected. A total of 7,897 tested positive for Covid-19 in the national capital with 39 new deaths in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases has risen to 7,14,423 and total recovered cases to 6,74,415, total deaths to 11,235 and active cases to 28,773.
While Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ruled out the possibility of a lockdown, he said new restrictions will be soon be implemented in the national capital.
“If Delhi gets enough vaccine doses, age bar for vaccination is removed and approval is given to open more vaccination centres on a larger scale, then we can vaccinate people within 2-3 months in Delhi. Currently, we have vaccines for 7-10 days. There will be no lockdown. New restrictions will be imposed soon,” Kejriwal was quoted as saying by ANI on Saturday.
Kejriwal said Delhi currently has seven to 10 days of vaccine stock.
Gujarat: No Lockdown
The Gujarat government is not in favour of imposing a lockdown in the state considering its impact on the poor despite the rise in coronavirus positive cases, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Saturday. However, he welcomed the voluntary imposition of lockdowns at a local level by villages or market associations in cities.
“The state government is not willing to impose a lockdown in the state considering the problems faced by the poor people. We have already imposed a curfew for 10 hours in a day to restrict the unnecessary movement of people,” Rupani said when asked if the government was thinking of clamping a lockdown in view of the rising cases. He was speaking to reporters after flagging off 20 new ‘Dhanvantari’ vans which will conduct coronavirus tests in public places and also suggest treatment.
“If any market association imposes a lockdown at a local level or if any village imposes such a measure, it is welcome to do so,” the chief minister said. Amid the upswing in cases, many villages, housing societies and market organisations in Gujarat have declared lockdowns in their respective areas.
The market organisation of Sola road in Ahmedabad has also decided to impose a lockdown on Saturday and Sunday to break the chain of transmission. A ‘janta’ curfew for two days is also observed in Palanpur city, but some traders kept their shops open.
With the latest addition of 4,541 fresh COVID-19 cases, the tally of cases in Gujarat reached 3,37,015 on Friday, as per the state health department. Meanwhile, the CM denied reports that the state government was hiding the true data on the count of fatalities caused by the COVID-19 infection.
Madhya Pradesh: Under Lockdown
Streets and markets in most cities of Madhya Pradesh wore a deserted look on Saturday, uncharacteristic for the weekend, as a 60-hour lockdown started showing effect. The lockdown came into force at 6 pm on Friday.
Among these places, Ratlam, Betul, Katni, Khargone and Chhindwara districts, all bordering Maharashtra, have been seeing record spikes in infections over the past few days. Ratlam and Betul will be under lockdown for nine days, while it will be from Friday till the morning of April 16 in Chhindwara, close to Nagpur, the biggest city in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region.
The lockdown will be in force for a period of seven days, which started on Friday night, in Khargone and Katni, officials said. However, thanks to an Assembly bypoll scheduled on Apil 17, Damoh remained “open” for campaigning, officials pointed out.
Assam: No Lockdown or Night Curfew
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday ruled out any possibility of imposition of lockdown or night curfew in the state in view of spiralling COVID-19 cases in other parts of the country. He said the government has planned to ramp up the number of daily sample test to 1 lakh in the next seven days.
“There is no possibility of imposing lockdown or night curfew in Assam. Our strategy is to focus on the three Ts- test, trace and track- to contain the spread of the disease. “Today 35,000 tests will be done and the number will gradually increase to one lakh per day within a week,” Sarma told reporters.
The state has conducted 73,32,580 sample tests for COVID-19 till Wednesday. Amid the surge in coronavirus cases across the country, many states have started imposing lockdown and night curfew to curb transmission of the infection.
“We have seen the second wave of the infection after a year and need to take the precaution. Testing for COVID-19 will be intensified from today so that we can celebrate Bihu (from mid-April) safely,” he said. A Standard Operating Procedure will be issued for the celebration of Rongali Bihu festival, Sarma said.
“All passengers travelling from Karnataka and Maharashtra will mandatorily undergo tests for COVID-19 on their arrival in Assam, even though they may have undergone such a test in the two states,” he said. The minister urged people to follow the health safety protocols and get themselves tested if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
He also appealed to people above 45 years of age to join the inoculation drive. Assam reported 195 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, pushing the coronavirus tally in the state to 2,19,027.
According to a bulletin issued by National Health Mission (NHM) on April 7, the northeastern state has 847 active cases, while 2,15,722 people have recovered from the disease. The COVID-19 death toll in the state stood at 1,111.
The country’s tally surged to 1,32,05,0926 on Saturday, the fourth consecutive day when more than one lakh cases were reported in one single day. A total of 794 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.