Addressing the people of the state, Uddhav said, “I cannot rule out imposing a lockdown if the current COVID-19 situation prevails. People have become complacent.”

The CM also informed that in the coming days, the state government aims to conduct 2.5 lakh RT-PCR tests daily.

Maharashtra has been conducting more than 1.50 lakh tests every day on average for the detection of coronavirus positive cases.

The CM also informed that till now, the state government has administered 65 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses including 3 lakh vaccine doses yesterday. “Even after vaccination, some people are getting infected because they stop wearing masks,” he highlighted.

“There could be a shortage of healthcare infrastructure if the COVID19 situation deteriorates,” said Thackeray.

He also said, “We were able to control the virus as we fought together, but now, we have become reckless, what is Corona? People started saying,” adding, “Due to Covid economy has suffered a lot.”

Uddhav said weddings, parties, political rallies and morchas restarted with crowding. “This is despite my appeal to stop for a while. COVID1-9 pandemic is becoming serious, there is new variant,” the CM reiterated.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra has been reporting the highest Covid-19 caseload in India, both in terms of active coronavirus positive patients and the total number of cases. It is also among the eight states which account for 84.61% of the daily new Covid-19 cases and continue to show a steep rise in the tally. Mumbai on Friday, reported 8,832 new COVID-19 cases, its highest one-day rise since pandemic began, along with 20 fatalities, highest this year.

On Thursday, the state had reported as many as 43,183 new Covid-19 cases and 249 deaths in a mere span of 24 hours. This accounted for both the highest one-day rise since the pandemic began, as well as the highest number of deaths since October last year.

The state is already witnessing a night curfew from last Sunday under the Maharashtra government’s ‘Mission Begin Again’ programme.

Under the ongoing restrictions in the state, gathering of five or more people will not be allowed from 8pm to 7am effective midnight March 27. All public places including gardens beaches will be shut between 8pm and 7 am.

Violation of the restrictions will attract a fine of  1,000.

Cinema halls, malls, auditoriums and restaurants will remain closed from 8pm to 7am. Home delivery and takeaway from restaurants will be allowed during the period.

No social, cultural, political, religious gathering will be allowed. Auditorium and drama theatres should not be used for conducting such gatherings. Not more than 50 people will be allowed during wedding ceremonies and not more than 20 people will be allowed during last rites.

Moreover, as Covid-19 cases explode in Pune district of Maharashtra, the state authorities today ordered an imposition a 7-day partial lockdown and a 12-hour night curfew to contain the spread. The orders will come into being from tomorrow.

Religious places, hotels and bars, shopping malls, and movie theatres will all remain closed for the next seven days, Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said Friday afternoon.

Only home deliveries of food, medicines and other essential services will be allowed in this period.

On Friday, the Centre chaired a high-level meeting with officials of states and UTs. During the meeting, eleven states and UTs were marked as “states of grave concern” because of their rising daily COVID-19 cases, have not shown a commensurate increase in enforcement of containment activities, the Centre said on Friday.

According to the health ministry, the 11 states of grave concern are Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Haryana.

They have contributed 90 per cent of COVID cases, 90.5 per cent of deaths in 14 days till March 31, and have crossed or close to crossing their early reported peaks last year, it said.

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