New cases (daily) of coronavirus in India approached the critical mark of 90,000 on Saturday, several states and Union Territories (UTs) announced stricter Covid-19 rules like restrictions on movements, night curfew, lockdowns (in some districts, though limited), and mini containment zones, etc. to limit the spread of the second wave of coronavirus infections in the country. India reported 89,129 new cases on Saturday, taking the total number of coronavirus infections in the country to 1,23,92,260.
Many states/UTs have been witnessing new peaks in terms of daily new Covid-19 cases for the past few weeks even as the Covid-19 vaccination drive, one of the largest in the world, picked up the pace with the beginning of the third phase for vaccination of people above 45 years from April 1. On Friday, the Union Health Ministry said 11 states/UTs –Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, and Haryana – are of “grave concern”. These 11 states have contributed over 90% to the national Covid-19 tally in the past two weeks.
The Centre specifically said the Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra was “worrying”. Maharashtra alone on Friday reported 47,827 new Covid-19 cases, the highest ever since the pandemic has started. State Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said stricter measures would be announced to prevent crowding. Suppose the situation gets worse, and the Covid-19 spike continues, putting further pressure on the already-stretched healthcare infrastructure in the state. In that case, a decision (on lockdown) may have to be taken after two days following consultations with experts and political leaders. “Today, I am warning about complete lockdown but not announcing it. I will speak to experts and political leaders in the next two days. If there is no other option to a lockdown, we will have to accept it,” Thackeray.
But the big question: Is lockdown the answer to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic?
As states imposed new restrictions and issued guidelines, here’s FE Online blog covering every single development – virus, vaccine, Covid-19 approaches, curbs, and lockdown, etc.—you all need to know. We will also keep an eye on global happenings as well. Follow our live blog and get instant, verified updates on the coronavirus pandemic: