Govt may extend lockdown in COVID-19-hit Nagpur after May 3

Mumabi/Nagpur: CM Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government may extend the lockdown in the coronavirus-hit urban areas of the state after May 3. The state government is closely monitoring the situation in areas outside the cities of Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Amravati, a senior state official told news agency.

“It is the cities where most of the COVID-19 cases are concentrated. If the state has to relax its current stringent lockdown measures, it would be in rural and least affected areas of the state. However, we are looking at the scenario as rural and urban areas are connected,” he said.

Despite minimum COVID-19 cases in rural areas of Pune district, the industries there have not resumed because most of their workforce live in cities, he said.

We need to work out some plans for every city or district-wise to get things moving. The administration needs more time to come up with solutions, hence it is highly unlikely to lift the lockdown restrictions May 3 onwards in all parts of the state, the official said.

State Health Minister Rajesh Tope had on Saturday said the number of COVID-19 cases in the state is not coming down.

“The state is yet to reach a stage where the number of coronavirus cases would stabilise. Till then, we cannot take the risk of allowing people to gather at public places in large numbers, Tope said.

The minister, however, said the state government would take a collective decision on what to do once the nationwide lockdown ends on May 3.

Maharashtra on Saturday reported 811 new coronavirus patients — the highest single-day increase — which took the total number of cases in the state to 7,628. The death toll also increased to 323 with 22 Covid-19 patients dying in the state during the day.