Maharashtra districts resort to lockdown, restrictions to curb spread of Covid-19


A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced night curfew in the state, various districts have started announcing lockdowns or restrictions to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Post a meeting with divisional commissioners and other senior police and administrative officers, the Chief Minister had announced a night curfew from Sunday midnight. Thackeray also spoke about further steps which would mean a lockdown if there’s no dip in the number of cases soon. Maharashtra has been reporting over 35,000 cases each day since the last week and is the highest contributor to the country’s Covid-19 caseload.

Many districts have already started clamping curbs on movement, with some going in for full-fledged lockdowns. Nanded’s district collector, Dr Vipin Itankar, has put his district under a 10-day lockdown to curb the rapid rise in cases. Itankar has also taken to rationalise hospital admissions to ensure only serious and critical patients occupy oxygen or ventilator beds. Similarly, Parbhani’s collector, too, has announced a lockdown in his area. Nandurbar is the latest in the line to announce a 15-day lockdown from April 1.

Latur’s district collector, although not announcing a complete lockdown, has put in place severe restrictions on movements and has ordered the closure of gyms, swimming pools, sports grounds, restaurants etc.

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Meanwhile, in many districts, complaints of shortage of beds have started coming in. In Nanded, Itankar decided to discharge asymptomatic or mildly-symptomatic patients from three government-run hospitals to free up beds. Speaking to The Indian Express, Itankar admitted that often, people use influence to get a hospital bed leading to serious patients not getting one in time of need. “During my visit to three government-run hospitals, I came across around 40 such patients who were transferred to Covid care centers. Those who are able to home isolate will be sent back with proper kits. A similar exercise would be carried out in private hospitals to free up beds,” he added.

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