Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that the COVID cases are rising because people are not following guidelines seriously and that is why strict steps like lockdown are needed to be considered.
At a meeting with senior health officials and COVID task force, Uddhav instructed them to prepare for restrictions similar to lockdown if people continue to violate COVID-related rules.
In ominous signals, Uddhav Thackeray directed the administration to chalk out strategies for the smooth implementation of a possible Lockdown 2.0 in the coming days.
"Plan for lockdown...": Uddhav to officials
"Plan for lockdown... If there is no adherence to restrictions by the people, we may have to go in for it (lockdown) if people fail to follow the new normal," a grim Thackeray said at a meeting of the Covid-19 Task Force.
This would include augmenting the health infrastructure, across-the-board enhancement of the bed strength, oxygens, ventilators or intensive care units to cater to the daily galloping number of fresh infections.
Sending shockwaves, the state has notched a stupendous 40,414 new cases for the day, taking the state tally to 27,13,875. Recording 108 fresh deaths, the state's toll now stands at 54,181 since the first death was registered 375 days ago.
Mumbai circle broke its own record of fresh infections - shooting up from 10,638 to 12,319, including the highest 6,933 in Mumbai, taking up the total from 847,827, to 8,60,146, besides a death toll of 20,209 till date.
Simultaneously, the state recovery rate dropped from 86.58 per cent on Saturday to 85.95 per cent, while the death rate stood at 2 per cent, compared with 2.02 per cent a day earlier, and the number of active cases jumped up from 303,475 to 325,901 now.
Concerned at how many stakeholders do not seem to have taken the situation with the seriousness it warrants, the CM pointed out that many private companies are violating the 50 per cent staff norms, marriage halls flout the 50-persons limits, there is no physical distancing in public places like malls or markets, people don't wear masks, wash hands regularly or maintain cleanliness and display Covid-appropriate behaviour in most cities.
Thackeray has directed the departments concerned to carry out an assessment of the ground situation in the wake of the massive second coming of Covid, procure adequate medicines, foodgrains, plan out the essential and medical services in the public and private sector, a day after stringent semi-lockdown measures were enforced in the state, including clamping of prohibitory orders from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.
(With inputs from IANS)