In view of this, Maharashtra Congress minister Aslam Sheikh on Tuesday told reporters, “Looking at the shortage of supply of medical oxygen, Maharashtra is heading towards a complete lockdown. Guidelines regarding it will be announced soon,” as per news agency ANI reports.
Moreover, state health minister Rajesh Tope Palso said that several ministers in the state have urged chief minister Uddhav Thackeray for a complete lockdown to urn the spread of the virus.
“We have requested the CM to announce a complete lockdown in the state from tomorrow at 8 pm. This was the request of all ministers to CM, now it is his decision,” Tope was quoted as saying by ANI.
He also informed reporters that tomorrow after 8 pm, CM will announce the decision on lockdown in the state.
“We’ve not yet received any letter from Centre about vaccination program for those above 18 years. CM has said that vaccination drive will be conducted in full swing and if needed we will take permission from the Centre to purchase vaccines from other countries,” he further said.
Meanwhile, in an effort to “break the chain” of novel coronavirus cases in the state, the Maharashtra government issued fresh guidelines for the functioning of all types of food shops and home delivery of food items till 1 May.
The new restriction will come into effect from 8 pm on Tuesday and remain effective till 7 am on May 1.
As per the new order, all groceries, vegetable shops, fruit vendors, dairies, bakeries, confectionaries, all type of food shops, shops related to farm produce, pet food shops, shops related to materials for impending rainy season for individuals/orgs to be open only between 7 am to 11 am.
Home delivery from the said shops however may be allowed between 7 am to 8 pm. These timings however may be changed by the local authority.
The worst-hit state in the county due to Covid-19 is already witnessing a strict weekend lockdown and other stringent curbs since 14 April in view of the massive surge in cases since last month.
The Maharashtra government had imposed 15-day-long “lockdown-like” restrictions from April 14 to curb the transmission of coronavirus.
In his address via social media to the people of the state on April 13 night, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray announced the sweeping restrictions, curtailing the movement of people and non-essential activities.
Section 144 of CrPC, prohibiting assembly of five or more people at one spot, will be in force during the period, Thackeray had said, but refrained from terming the new curbs as a lockdown.
Malls, cinema halls, gyms, other recreational spaces are shut till 1 May in order to contain the virus. Social gatherings are also prohibited state-wide.
These curbs are in addition to the weekend lockdowns and other restrictions which will remain in force till April 30 under its ‘Break the Chain’ COVID-19 action plan.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Monday witnessed a dip in its daily count by recording 58,924 fresh infections and 351 deaths, the state health department said after after logging the highest 68,631 COVID-19 cases on Sunday.
The overall case tally in Maharashtra now stands at 38,98,262 while the toll is 60,824, it said.
The state is now left with 6,76,520 active cases.
Of the 351 fatalities, 220 were from the last 48 hours and 85 from the last week.
A total of 52,412 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, taking the count of recoveries in Maharashtra so far to 31,59,240, the department said in a statement.
At 7,381, Mumbai reported the highest number of fresh cases in the state in the day, followed by 5,086 and 4,616 cases in Nagpur and Pune cities, respectively.
(With inputs from ANI)