With Maharashtra leading the numbers in India's COVID-19 graph, a decision to impose a lockdown in the state was taken at a meeting of leaders from the MVA alliance and BJP, which was called by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday.Though last week, stricter restrictions and complete weekend lockdown was announced after a cabinet meeting the state is now mulling a complete lockdown. Apart from Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, state Congress president Nana Patole and other leaders also attended the meeting. Health Minister Rajesh Tope in his interview to India TV said, a 15-day lockdown is required in the state to improve the health infrastructure, adding the final decision will be taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the Cabinet.On being asked about the lack of vaccines in Maharashtra, he said that the pace of vaccination in the state is the fastest in the whole country. We request the Centre to provide us vaccine doses as per the pace of our inoculation drive. We are thankful to the Central government for all the help, but more is needed to be done.
Speaking further, the Maharashtra health minister said, "The covid protocol is being strictly enforced, with penalties being imposed against those not applying masks. "Now as per a latest update, tomorrow again a meeting will be held at 11am of the Maharashtra Cabinet. It is said that the final decision of the lockdown will be taken in this meeting which will see the presence of Uddhav Thackeray, Ajit Pawar and Rajesh Tope. Earlier, as per reports, Uddhav Thackeray pitched for an eight-day total lockdown to break the ongoing surge of infections in the state. In the two-and-a-half hour long all party meet, Thackeray emphasised on the need for the lockdown, pointing out that one positive patient is affecting at least 25 persons at the current rate. The development comes as the state has been scaling new peaks daily in the number of infections, with Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Akola and several other districts being badly hit by the second wave. Meanwhile, Maharashtra recorded as many as 55,411 coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking the tally of infections in the state to 32,88,540, the death toll increased to 57,638 with 309 new fatalities. As many as 53,005 patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the number of recovered patients to 27,48,153. The number of active cases stands at 5,36,682.