Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray (Photo Credit: PTI)
In the toughest measure to contain the spread of coronavirus outbreak so far, the Maharashtra government has imposed ‘statewide curfew’, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced on Monday. "The coronavirus spread is at a crucial stage. If we don't take strong steps now, we may face a situation similar to other countries. We have been making repeated appeals, but they seem to have had no impact, so we are forced to implement curfew," Thackeray said in an address to the people of the state.
The development comes a day after Maharashtra government implemented prohibitory i.e. Section 144 of CrPC to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Maharashtra. The number of coronavirus patients in Maharashtra rose to 89 with 15 more coronavirus positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, officials said on Monday. This is the highest in India.
According to news agency IANS, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope warned that the state was on the threshold of a 'multiplication stage' of the virus. He urged people to strictly remain indoors as saying this was the stage to exercise extreme precaution.
"This is the stage to exercise extreme precaution since we don’t want to enter from Phase II to Phase III at any cost," he said.
This is the biggest spurt of positive cases in a single day from 74 on Sunday to 89 on Monday. A 63-year old man died on Saturday in a Mumbai hospital, the second victim of COVID-19 last week in the state.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led government has also suspended the intercity state transport and private bus services while extending the section 144 till March 31 in several cities.