India's coronavirus epicentre Maharashtra went into a state-wide weekend lockdown on April 10 as the country battled exploding infection numbers and shortages of vaccines, drugs and hospital beds. (Image: AFP)
As Maharashtra continues to report a surge in fresh COVID-19 infections, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope has confirmed that a lockdown will be imposed. Tope said people in Maharashtra should prepare for a lockdown.
"Prior information will be given to people before the lockdown is implemented. At this point of time all that I would want to say to the residents of the state is that they should mentally prepare themselves for a lockdown," Tope said as quoted by the Indian Express.
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He had earlier said that a decision regarding the imposition of a lockdown will be taken after the state Cabinet meeting on April 14.
State Cabinet Minister Aslam Shaikh had also said that people will get time to prepare for the stringent COVID-19 restrictions.
"The state govt is making a fool-proof plan on what needs to be allowed and for how many days, during the lockdown. This will give sufficient time to people if they want to move somewhere or come here, and prepare them mentally, ahead of the lockdown," Shaikh said on April 12.
Read | People will get sufficient time to prepare themselves before lockdown is imposed: Aslam Shaikh
The Opposition BJP, meanwhile, continued to oppose a complete lockdown in the state. Stating that people lose their jobs when a lockdown is imposed, senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis alleged the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was not serious about providing any financial aid to the vulnerable sections.
Fadnavis said, "I can understand locking and unlocking (to contain the spread of coronavirus) is important but when a lockdown is imposed, people lose their jobs. Unfortunately, the state government is not at all conscious about providing financial help to the (vulnerable) people."
Last week, the state government imposed additional restrictions, including weekend lockdown and night curfew, to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The state also postponed class 10 and 12 board exams. SSC exams for class 10th students were scheduled to be held from April 29 to May 20, while HSC exams for Class 12th were to be conducted from April 23 to May 21.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic