Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is in favour of a complete lockdown in the state that is struggling with an unprecedented rise in coronavirus cases, sources told NDTV, amid an all-party meeting to discuss the crisis.
Maharashtra, which has been reporting around half of the new infections in the country each day, enforced a night curfew and a weekend lockdown this week but sources say Mr Thackeray is in favour of stricter curbs to break the chain of transmission.
Maharashtra on Friday reported nearly 59,000 new cases of the coronavirus, which pushed its overall tally to 32.88 lakh, while the death of 301 patients took the its fatalities to 57,329, the state health department said.
The state, which has also complained of a vaccine shortage and rebuffed by the centre, 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.
India’s daily coronavirus cases on Saturday rose by a record for the fifth time this week and deaths surged to the highest in more than five months, with hospitals and crematoriums overflowing in parts of the country.
New cases in the world’s second-most populous country have totalled the most of anywhere in the world over the last two weeks. India’s overall tally of 1.32 crore is the third-highest globally, just shy of Brazil and below the worst affected country, the United States.
The second surge in infections, which has spread much more rapidly than the first one that peaked in September, has forced many states to impose fresh curbs but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not imposed a national lockdown given the high economic costs.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday said that the state was heading towards a lockdown.
“We are heading towards a lockdown but I hope that we don’t have to go for one. Before that if we contain the virus, we will be happy, satisfied and content. We are hoping for the best,” Mr Tope told NDTV in an interview.