Mumbai: Lockdown in Maharashtra is highly predictable if the surge in coronavirus cases continues, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday amid a fresh COVID-19 wave in the state that has seen the highest daily infections since the beginning of the pandemic in the last two weeks.
“I cannot rule out imposing a lockdown if the current COVID-19 situation prevails. People have become complacent. We are in a Catch 22 situation – should we look at economy or health?”, said the Chief Minister.
“If this condition continues, I have told you already that in 15 days we will exhaust our infrastructure. So today I am giving a warning of a lockdown. Not announcing a lockdown yet. But if I don’t find a solution in two days after speaking to more people, then I have no option,” he said.
Uddhav Thackeray said the state will announce new restrictions within the next two days.
Maharashtra, which has been worst-hit from COVID-19 so far, reported as many as 47,827 new cases on Friday, highest since 2020 and 202 deaths. Several districts have announced special restrictions like night curfew.
The numbers accounted for more than half of the over 81,000 new COVID-19 infections reported across the country by the Union Health Ministry earlier in day, the highest daily number in six months.
Health ministry data showed the total number of cases surged to 1.23 crore, making India the third-most hit country from the virus after the United States and Brazil. The number of those dead rose by 469 to 1,63,396.
India imposed one of the world’s harshest lockdowns to control the coronavirus early last year, but it was eased to counteract the falling economy, and cases gradually fell later in the year. The new surge this year presents a challenge to the government.