A day after Maharashtra reported its highest single-day rise in Covid-19 infections, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has decided to hold a high-level meeting to review the virus situation in the state.

Maharashtra clocked in 43,183 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, pushing the caseload to 28,56,163, a health official said.

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The state also saw 249 deaths during the day, another record since October last year, taking the fatality count to 54,898.

State capital Mumbai reported 8,646 new Covid-19 cases, increasing its cumulative cases to 4,23,419. It also reported 18 deaths, which took its toll to 11,708.

The meeting also comes in the backdrop of Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar hinting that additional restrictions could be imposed in the city from 2 April.

Pednekar said on Thursday that all religious places might be shut completely as people refuse to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, reported news agency PTI. She listed the same reason for the possible closure of malls and theatres.

She said that private offices could be asked to operate in two shifts.

Speaking about curbs on local trains, the Mayor said: “Train journey might be restricted to only essential services staff only as in the past.”

Meanwhile, cinema, retail, and shopping industry associations have urged Thackeray to not impose a lockdown in Maharashtra as the sectors will not be able to financially bear it.

Multiplex Association of India (MAI), Retail Association of India (RAI), and Shopping Centres Association of India said they were following all the safety protocols of the government but a lockdown will hit the business, which was in the recovery process.

Kamal Gianchandani, CEO PVR Pictures and president of MAI, said the cinema industry is mentally reconciled with the fact that they will have to “co-exist with the virus for some time”.

“There’s a sensor deja vu for sure because we all have painful memories of the lockdown,” he told PTI, emphasising the need for stricter enforcement of safety protocols and faster vaccination of people.

However, state health minister Rajesh Tope recently said people should be ready for stringent measures in the coming days to curb the spread of Covid-19 and that imposing a lockdown is the last option for the state government.

With inputs from agencies.

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