As Maharashtra reported its highest spike of 5,427 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, 18 February, in over 70 days, Uddhav Thackeray’s government laid down an action plan for the state in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.
The new action plan for Maharashtra states as follows:
- In every district, smaller administrative blocks or‘Talukas’ will be set up on the basis of Primary Health Unit, where people will undergo micro-monitoring. If the positive rate increases in a block, then there will be restrictions of movement on the border.
- Quarantine rules will be made stricter.
- Mask wearing will be mandatory and photos of people disobeying will be sent to the police.
- Wedding halls, hotels, public parks and public places will be monitored at ward level in every district. If more than the a fixed number of people are found, punitive action will be taken.
- Mobile Testing will be stressed, and a total of 20 people exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual will be made to take the test.
- It will be mandatory for travellers coming in from Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and Kerala to show their COVID-19 negative report 72 hours before arrival. The same rule will be applicable for travellers coming from UK, Europe and Middle East countries.
New Curbs in Mumbai
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on also announced new set of restrictions and guidelines in Mumbai as the cases increased in the city.
As the state reported its highest spike in over 70 days, BMC Commissioner IS Chahal warned of action in case of flouting the restrictions.
The new guidelines issued by the BMC are as follows:
- If five or more COVID-19 patients are found in one building, it will be sealed
- Stamps will be put on back of the hands of the patients staying in home quarantine, and there will be a provision to lodge an FIR against an unstamped patient
- 300 marshals will be hired to keep an eye on people traveling in local trains without a face mask. Besides, additional marshals will be hired to keep an eye on violators in Mumbai
- Wedding halls, clubs, and restaurants etc will be raided to check if they are floating rules
- People returning from Brazil will have to undergo mandatory institutional quarantine
- Tests will be increased in areas where more patients are found
Weekend Lockdown in Amravati, Restrictions in Yavatmal
Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar on Thursday directed district collectors of Amaravati, Yavatmal, and Akola to declare containment zones in the areas having a high number of COVID-19 patients.
A lockdown has been declared Amravati district from 8 pm on 20 February to 7 am on 22 February, ANI reported, quoting Amravati district collector Shelesh Naval.
Restrictions were also announced in Yavatmal District on Thursday, which District Collector MD Singh said cannot be termed as a lockdown.
“Schools and colleges to remain closed till 28 February. Restaurants, halls will continue to operate but marriage ceremonies will be held with less than 50 percent capacity of people,” Singh said.
The announcements come after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray chaired a meet with the administrations of the three districts earlier on Thursday.
In order to control the spike, Pune Municipal Corporation on Thursday too issued an order making it mandatory for passengers arriving from Kerala to undergo RT-PCR test on arrival.
(With inputs from ANI.)