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          Maharashtra stares at lockdown if Covid surge continues

          Avoid political, social, religious gatherings: Maharashtra CM Thackeray gives 1 week ultimatum for 2nd lockdown

          'You all will ask...whether there would be lockdown...but it entirely depends on you....wear masks and say no to lockdown,' CM said

          Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Credit: PTI File Photo.

          Amid a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra’s urban areas and hinterland, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday issued an ultimatum saying that decision on another lockdown would be taken in eight to 10 days if people do not mend ways and align to the new normal.

          The statement of the chief minister came on a day when several restrictions were put in place in urban centres like Mumbai, Pune and Nashik and week-long lockdown was clamped in Amravati in the Vidarbha region, where cases are multiplying fast.

          “You all will ask...whether there would be lockdown...but it entirely depends on you....wear masks and say no to lockdown, sanitize and wash hands and say no to lockdown, maintain social distancing and say no to lockdown...let us see how we all go in the next seven to eight to 10 days,” Thackeray said, warning: "For past two weeks the cases are increasing....the second wave is knocking our doors".

          Also read:?Maharashtra Covid-19 spike: One-week lockdown in Amravati

          The chief minister said that last year he had launched ‘Majhi Kutumb, Maji Jawabdari’ (My Family, My Responsibility) and now he would like to initiate ‘Mi Jawabdar’ (I am Responsible) to inculcate Covid-appropriate behaviour.

          Thackeray, the Shiv Sena president, also cancelled political meetings, rallies, morchas and protests for the time being as these attracts large gatherings - a decision that sends out a strong message to the public and what may follow.

          “I appeal, let us avoid political, social and religious gatherings,” he said, and complimented state’s energy minister Dr Nitin Raut for scaling down functions of his son’s marriage.

          "We are reducing the number of public events. We are cancelling many of our events. If we don't follow the rules then we will have to impose a strict lockdown," he said.

          “Cases have risen...we have to take steps,” he said, pointing out that on Sunday cases have risen by nearly 7,000 whereas the same was between 2,000 to 2,500 a fortnight ago while on the other hand the active cases that were around 40,000 is now around 53,000.

          “These are the indicators...that cases are rising but we cannot stop running the economy,” Thackeray said, pointing out that people’s demand like opening of restaurants, reopening of temples, restarting of local trains for the general public in Mumbai have been met by the government as the situation improved. “But at the same time, I would like to point out that people have stopped taking precautions and not wearing masks,” he said.

          At a meeting presided over by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, Schools and colleges were in Pune and its sister city of Pimpri-Chinchwad were shut till February 28.? Movement of people will also be restricted between 11pm and 6am when only essential activities like medical services, milk supply will be allowed.? The hotels, restaurants and bars will not be allowed to operate beyond 11pm.

          ?

          "One-week complete lockdown remains in force in Amravati district excluding Achalpur city, beginning 8 pm tomorrow,” women and child welfare minister Yashomati Thakur, adding whatever necessary needs to be done before that the administration has given 24 hours time.

          In Nashik, food and civil minister Chhagan Bhujbal reviewed the situation and said whether you want a mini lockdown or major lockdown depends on people. Prohibitory orders will be in place between 11 pm to 6 am in Nashik for a week.

          In Mumbai, over 1,300 buildings have been sealed in the wake of rising cases – and Thackeray has appealed to stagger office timings and rotate work-from-home in batches for office staff.

           
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