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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Maharashtra: Ministers call for full lockdown in home districts to break Covid chain

The 7-11 am relaxation for people to attend to essential requirements is being perceived as a hurdle to curbing movement and breaking the virus chain.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: May 10, 2021 2:53:30 pm
MumMaharashtra, Lockdown, mumbai Lockdown, nagpur Lockdown, Maharashtra Lockdown restrictions, india news, indian expressbaiMumbai Police officers patrol on deserted Gateway of India. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

Amid the Covid-19 case surge, cabinet ministers and elected representatives are mounting pressure on the district administration to impose a complete lockdown in their respective areas.

The 7-11 am relaxation for people to attend to essential requirements is being perceived as a hurdle to curbing movement and breaking the virus chain.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar last week declared a complete lockdown in his home town and Assembly constituency of Baramati in Pune district. It came with a warning of extending these measures across Pune district.

The call for a hard decision was also voiced by Energy Minister Nitin Raut, the guardian minister of Nagpur. He said, “To tackle the spurt in Covid-19 cases, we have to ensure harsher restrictions like sealing our district borders. We will have to stop movement of people from other districts or states in the city and rural Nagpur. We will have to impose a complete lockdown for eight days.”

In Amravati district, District Collector Shailesh Nawal announced a complete lockdown for the next eight days. There was pressure from all political parties and elected members to clamp restrictions.

Although CM Uddhav Thackeray had announced restrictions on April 22 and extended them till May 15, the rise in Covid cases and increase in deaths have prompted the district leadership and legislators to seek stricter restrictions.

Minister for Water Resources Jayant Patil said, “The statistics emerging from our home constituency are alarming and we cannot negotiate when it comes to saving the lives of people. We have enforced complete lockdown for the next eight days in our district.”

Exactly a year ago, Patil who is also the state NCP president, was praised for the containment zone model, which took the Covid cases in the district to zero in the first wave.

“Partial lockdown has not helped in reducing cases. So we have to strictly implement total lockdown to break the chain,” Patil said. “The administration will ensure all essential services reach the people.”

In neighbouring Satara district, Minister of State for Home Sambhuraje Desai took to the streets to enforce lockdown.

Meanwhile, with the situation in Nashik district also causing concern, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies and Guardian Minister Chhagan Bhujbal advocated an extended lockdown. There were calls for complete lockdown in Beed, Latur and Aurangabad districts, too.

Earlier, Health Minister Rajesh Tope had expressed concern over high positive cases and deaths. “If the situation does not improve, we have to initiate stricter measures. An extended lockdown across the state beyond May 15 is under consideration,” he had said.

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