After briefly controlling the inexorable spread of the coronavirus outbreak, Maharashtra is once again witnessing an alarming rise in the daily number of coronavirus reported across the state.
The recent surge in the COVID-19 cases has forced the state government to reintroduce restrictions on the assembly and movement of people. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray even warned that the state government could reimpose the lockdown if it is deemed necessary to blunt this latest wave of coronavirus cases.
“As of now Maharashtra and Kerala are the two states witnessing a steady rise in the number of cases. “Kerala and Maharashtra with 61,550 and 37,383 active cases respectively account for 72% of the total active cases in the country,” Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan had stated recently.
For the first time since mid-January, Maharashtra reported about 3,000 new coronavirus cases every day of the last week. On Sunday itself, Maharashtra reported 4,092 new coronavirus cases. The new cases in the second week of February were at least 14 per cent more than the first. In the week ending Sunday(February 14), 20,207 cases were registered across the state., compared to 17,672 in the week(February 1-7) before that and about 17,293 cases were reported in the week(January 25-31) prior to that.
Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar issued a lockdown caution on February 16 saying that a lockdown might have to be reintroduced in the city if people continue to flout basic COVID-19 guidelines.
“It’s a matter of concern. Most people travelling in trains don’t wear masks. People must take precautions else we’ll head towards another lockdown. Whether a lockdown will be implemented again is in the hands of people,” Pednekar said.
As the state apparently hurtles towards a second #lockdown, #Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar (@KishoriPednekar) on Wednesday took to the streets and with folded hands, appealed to the people to follow all #Covid19 protocols in public interest. pic.twitter.com/awllm97kI3— IANS Tweets (@ians_india) February 17, 2021
Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Thane and Amravati emerge as hotspots of the second wave of coronavirus
Mumbai and its surrounding region were amongst the worst-affected by the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic when more than 3.14 lakh Covid-19 cases were reported. This number included around 2.96 lakh recoveries and 11,420 deaths.
Infection is steadily on the rise in Mumbai and Pune, another metropolitan city that reported the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country. The sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in Pimpri Chinchwad, an exurb of Pune, has forced the local authorities to convene a meeting to deliberate on measures to be taken to curb the spread.
Along with Mumbai and Pune, the Vidarbha region has contributed the maximum to the new surge. Almost 60 per cent of the total coronavirus infections in the second week of February were reported from Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, Thane and Amravati.
In Maharashtra, Amravati and Nagpur have emerged as the most potent coronavirus hotspots, just behind Pune. While 3,228 cases were reported in Pune in the second week of February, Nagpur racked up 2,628 cases while Amravati registered 2,420 cases. The number of cases registered in Mumbai during this period was 2,195.
On February 16, Maharashtra reported 3,663 COVID-19 cases. The areas under the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai registered 461 new cases. As per data from BMC, the testing number have remained nearly same as earlier, suggesting that the rate of infection have increased dramatically.
Deputy CM Ajit Pawar warns of “harsh decisions” in the wake of surging coronavirus cases
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has expressed alarm over the rising number of coronavirus infection and warned people to be prepared for some “harsh decision”. Pawar was dismayed with the growing tally of coronavirus caseloads and attributed the surge to the carelessness of people, who he claimed are not following the COVID-19 guidelines.
Pawar, who also holds Finance ministry, was in Aurangabad to chair a review meeting of eight districts under the Marathwada region.
“I have come across ((reports that) people are not following the COVID-19 guidelines which are aimed at checking the spread of the infection. If the situation worsens, we may need to pay a heavy cost for this carelessness. The number (of new cases in the state) is alarming. We have seen that lockdown was imposed in many parts of the world again in view of the second wave of the pandemic,” he said.