Exactly a year has passed since India’s nationwide coronavirus lockdown, and after a brief dip in cases, a second wave is being reported in some states across the country. In an attempt to reign in the growing number of cases, a few states have already begun reimposing restrictions and night curfews in affected districts. States like Punjab and Maharashtra, which have witnessed a significant jump in infections, are even considering a complete lockdown.
On Wednesday, India recorded 47,262 new cases of coronavirus. The country reported 275 deaths, the highest it has witnessed this year. Maharashtra was off its peak, reporting 28,699 cases, but several other states continue to rise. Karnataka, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh also reported high numbers.
Here are 10 states that are witnessing a second wave of coronavirus cases
Maharashtra has been witnessing a significant rise in cases over the last few weeks. On Sunday, the state reported over 30,000 new cases — the highest one-day rise since the first few Covid infections were detected in India. Till just over a week ago, total number of cases from the entire country was fewer than this number.
The Maharashtra government immediately started to impose fresh restrictions to combat the surge in cases. Restrictions were announced in Nagpur city period from March 15 to 21. The city will remain under lockdown till March 31 now, however with some ease in restrictions.
The relaxations include: all shops, apart from those delivering essentials, will be allowed to remain open till 4 pm; restaurants will remain open till 7 pm while home delivery by online bookings will remain open till 11 pm. Religious congregations will remain banned in the area.
Besides Nagpur, Nanded and Parbhani areas in Marathwada region will be going into lockdown starting on March 24. While the lockdown in Nanded will be till April 3, restrictions in Parbhani will remain in place till March 31. A lockdown was imposed in Beed district of Maharashtra on Wednesday.
Punjab, too, is witnessing a resurgence of cases. From the first Covid case recorded on March 9, 2020, in the state, Punjab saw a continuous increase in cases, deaths. The graph rose slowly between October 2020 and January 2021, but has again seen an upward trajectory from January-end onwards.
In light of the surge in the number of coronavirus infections, the Punjab government ordered a complete ban on all social gatherings and related functions in the 11 worst-hit districts of the state, except for funerals/cremations/ weddings, which will be allowed with only 20 persons in attendance. The affected districts are Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, SBS Nagar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ropar and Moga.
A night curfew will also be observed in these districts from 9 pm to 5 am. In addition to these, all educational institutions, other than medical and nursing colleges, will remain closed till March 31, with a restriction of 50 per cent capacity in cinema halls and not more than 100 persons in a mall at any time.
According to Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra, the state has started to report between 300 to 400 fresh Covid cases in cities like Indore and Bhopal daily. The state government is presently mulling a lockdown in these cities to bring down the number of active cases.
On March 21, the Madhya Pradesh government imposed a one-day lockdown in three major cities — Bhopal, Indore, and Jabalpur. While the government has not decided to extend the lockdown, it has decided to shut down schools and colleges in these three cities till March 31.
The number of Covid-19 cases being recorded in Rajasthan have increased by six times since the beginning of March, according to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. While the state recorded a total of 102 new cases on March 2, the caseload soared to 602 within 20 days.
The Rajasthan government has announced night curfew in eight cities — Ajmer, Bhilwara, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Udaipur, Sagwada (Dungarpur) and Kushalgarh (Banswara) — from March 22. The curfew will be imposed from 11 pm to 5 am. Markets in the urban areas will remain shut after 10 pm.
Covid-19 cases in Gujarat have seen a five-fold increase in a month, reporting over 1,400 cases in a day on Friday, with the past week reporting a significant surge in the daily reporting on March 11 when the state saw 710 new COVID-19 cases.
The Gujarat government has decided to suspend all offline classes and examinations in schools and colleges in eight municipal corporations — Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Surat, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh and Gandhinagar — till April 10, as the state saw a four-fold increase in Covid-19 cases in a month.
The second wave of the pandemic has begun in Karnataka, according to the state’s Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar. He urged people to avoid large gathering and to observe Covid protocol to try and avoid more infections in the future. But Sudhakar said a lockdown or semi-lockdown was not yet on the cards.
Citing a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in Punjab (especially Chandigarh), the Karnataka government Monday issued an order making it mandatory for those entering from there to furnish a negative RT-PCR Covid test report. Earlier, the same was required only for people entering from neighbouring Maharashtra and Kerala. The decision to extend the same to three states is based on the recommendations put forth by the Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee, the order clarified.
With Delhi’s daily Covid surge crossing 1,000 for the first time since mid-December, the government has stepped into action, imposing fresh restrictions across the National Capital. Calling malls, cinema halls, weekly markets, metro services and religious places “super spreader” areas, the Delhi government has directed authorities to intensify the enforcement of Covid-19 norms in these spaces.
The Delhi Government has also called for random testing in airports, railway stations and bus stands across the city.
Over the last 10 days, Covid cases have been steadily rising in Uttar Pradesh. While the state reported 167 cases on March 12, the number rose to 542 by March 22. During that period the positivity rate has jumped from 0.18 per cent to 0.40 per cent.
The UP government has issued a set of guidelines asking senior citizens and vulnerable groups to stay away from celebrations and said no processions or gatherings will be allowed without prior administrative permission.
The state government also decided to keep all schools shut for students in Class 8 and below until March 31. All other educational institutions where exams are not underway will also close from March 25 to March 31.
Tamil Nadu has been witnessing a steady surge in cases over the last few days. On Friday, the state recorded over 1,000 cases for the first time in 80 days. It has since been recording over 1,200 cases every day.
On Monday, the Tamil Nadu government Monday ordered all the educational institutions under the control of the higher education department and deemed universities to conduct online classes from March 23 due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the state.
Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Chhattisgarh, the Bhupesh Baghel government on Sunday said students of all classes will be promoted without examinations, expect those from Class X and XII, PTI reported.
“All schools will be shut till further orders and all students, except of class 10th and 12th, will be given general promotion to the next class without holding examinations,” the order said.