Maharashtra is witnessing a rise in COVID-19 cases once again. The state recorded over 5,000 cases on Thursday, February 17. This has prompted the administration to announce a series of new restrictions.
On Thursday, Amravati district collector Shailesh Naval announced a weekend lockdown, while Yavatmal collector DM Singh announced a 10-day lockdown till February 28.
According to The Print, the daily positivity rate in Amravati and Yavatmal is 48 per cent and 15 per cent, which is much higher than the national positivity rate of 5.27 per cent.
In Amravati, a complete weekend lockdown has been announced from (8 pm on Saturday to 7 am on Monday). On Saturday, all establishments will close at 8 pm. However, essential services will remain unaffected.
On weekdays, all establishments in the district, including hotels and restaurants, will remain open until 8 pm, against the earlier limit of 10 pm. "In view of a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases, I have decided to impose a weekend lockdown in the Amravati district. To avoid any stricter lockdown in the future, I urge people to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour," Collector Shailesh Naval said on Thursday.
He added that during the weekend lockdown, swimming pools and indoor games would also remain closed. Religious ceremonies will be allowed with only five people.
The authorities have announced a 10-day complete lockdown with immediate effect.
"Today, we are ordering lockdown in Yavatmal district till February 28," collector D M Singh said on Thursday.
Schools, colleges and coaching classes in the district will remain closed till February 28. Religious places will remain open, but any kind of religious functions will not be allowed during this period, only 50 persons will be allowed at weddings.
"As per the guidelines of the Government of India and Government of Maharashtra, strict enforcement of restrictions is being implemented in the district," DM Singh said.
Since February 1, the number of COVID-19 cases in the district had been increasing.
Singh said that the COVID-19 testing in the district will be increased over the next few days.
Guidelines For Affected Districts
On Thursday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray convened a meeting to review the situation in the districts along with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Health Minister Rajesh Tope. After the meeting, the authorities were given the following instructions.
Divisional commissioners, district collectors, municipal commissioners and police administration have been asked to be more attentive and implement strict and effective measures to control the spread of COVID-19.
Ensure the use and availability of masks in public, social distancing protocol is followed in public and political gatherings.
Public administrations have also been directed to spray disinfectants at places like public toilets, and bus and railway stations.
The administration has been instructed to increase the COVID-19 testing by 20 times in the areas where new patients are being discovered. It has been suggested to conduct an RT-PCR test on symptomatic patients.
Increase Contact Tracing
The government has also instructed the district authorities to increase the rate of contact tracing in the affected areas. Increase the number of the test by examining at least 20 to 30 close contacts of a patient and bring down the positivity rate.