Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray (File image)
Speculations are rife that a complete lockdown would be announced in Maharashtra by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who will address the state at 8:30 pm on April 13. Here is all you need to know about the COVID-19 situation in Maharashtra which has pushed the state to the brink of another round of crippling curbs.
The weekly positivity rate in the state has climbed to a whopping 24 percent, the Union health ministry said in a press briefing earlier in the day.
The state, since late February, has been reporting an upswing in daily count of infections. Mumbai has again emerged as one of the hotspots in the second phase of the pandemic.
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A peak of over 63,000 was reported in Maharashtra on April 11 - which is the highest since the outbreak of pandemic. The state has been recording over 50,000 cases per day over the past five days.
Mumbai reached a peak of over 11,000 cases on April 4, and has been reporting around 9,000 cases over the past eight days. A low count of 6,905 infections was, however, reported on April 12. This was attributed to the usual dip in the number of tests on Sundays.
As per the last update issued by Maharashtra health department, the state recorded 51,757 new infections and 258 COVID-19-related fatalities in the preceding 24 hours.
The tally of active cases across Maharashtra has jumped to 5,64,746, accounting for around 45 percent of the country's total active caseload. Mumbai accounts for 86,279 of the total active infections.
To curb the pace of transmission, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government had released the 'Break the Chain' guidelines on April 4. As per the guidelines, Section 144 of CrPC came into effect on all working days between 7 am to 8 pm, a night curfew from 8 pm to 7 am. On weekends, a complete lockdown was imposed.
The state is also encouraging maximum vaccination among the eligible beneficiaries in bid to minimize the fatalities due to the COVID-19 second wave. A total of 1,01,92,353 doses were administered in Maharashtra till April 12, accounting for around 10 percent of the country's total vaccination so far.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi government was also locked in a verbal duel with the Centre over the "shortage of vaccines". State Health Minister Rajesh Tope has sought 40 lakh doses of the vaccine per week. Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, however, blasted the state government for "creating a panic" among the people.
"... focusing all their energies on playing politics and spreading lies to create panic is not going to help the people of Maharashtra," Vardhan said, as he asked the state government to strictly adhere to the testing and tracking strategy.