NEW DELHI/NAGPUR/KOLKATA: More high-risk areas were brought under
on Saturday for varying periods, including weekends, by states in a bid to check the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in India.
Over a dozen states have so far opted for such selective lockdown citing the need to revive economic activities and at the same time reduce the risk of spread of infection, though Bihar and Manipur have imposed a state-wide shutdown from July 16 and July 23 respectively.
In Madhya Pradesh, where Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tested positive for
and was admitted to a hospital, a 10-day lockdown has been imposed in state capital Bhopal after a spike in cases. The state has been observing total shutdown on Sundays.
A complete lockdown till Monday morning was imposed in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, which too has been enforcing shutdown every Sunday.
Tamil Nadu on Saturday breached the grim milestone of two lakh coronavirus cases with the biggest daily spike of 6,988 fresh infections, pushing the tally to 2,06,737, according to state officials.
While Uttar Pradesh observed another weekend lockdown, similar curbs were imposed for the second time this month in Uttarakhand’s four districts – Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital and Udham Singh Nagar districts – which have reported 1,348 cases since July 18.
All shops were shut and transport suspended in West Bengal as part of the twice-a-week lockdown in the state.
Jammu went into a 60-hour lockdown from Friday 6pm, while a six-day complete lockdown has been imposed across the Kashmir Valley except Bandipora since Thursday.
In its most recent update, the Union health ministry placed the total number of cases at 13,36,861 and the death toll at 31,358. Nearly 11.4 lakh cases have been reported in June-July alone when lockdown restrictions were eased.
In worst-affected Maharashtra, where over 3.5 lakh cases have been recorded, civic authorities of Nagpur city announced a voluntary ‘
‘ on Saturday and Sunday, when only essential services will remain functional.
The step has been taken to bring public awareness about behavioural change towards Covid-19 rules, but if these rules are not followed, then a strict curfew could be imposed in the city, Nagpur municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe warned.
Chief minster Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that he was not in favour of complete lifting of the coronavirus-induced curbs in the state only to address the economic concerns.
Maharashtra too had imposed strict shutdown for varying periods in areas with high incidence of coronavirus infection including Pune.
“I will never say that the lockdown will be lifted completely. But I have started reopening a few things gradually. Once reopened, it shouldn’t be shut again. Hence, I prefer taking steps in phases. You can’t just think about economy or health. There needs to be a balance between the two,” he said in an interview to Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
From June onwards, the government had