India’s weakest state Maharashtra, home to the nation’s financial capital Mumbai, will inflict a weekend lockdown and night curfew on its 110 million individuals as it battles a spike in COVID-19 cases, authorities said Sunday.
India reported 93,249 new daily illnesses on Sunday, the highest growth since September, with Maharashtra a major contributor.
From Monday night before the end of April, a nighttime curfew will be imposed, gatherings of more than four individuals banned, and personal offices, restaurants, cinemas, swimming pools, bars, places of worship and public areas such as shores shut.
On weekends, just essential services could be allowed to operate.
“While imposing these restrictions, on the one hand, care has been taken not to affect the state’s economic cycle and not to harass the workers and labourers, and emphasis has been laid on closing crowded places,” the state government said in a statement late Sunday.
Public transport services are permitted to operate, but also at 50 percent capacity. Industrial and production activities in the state, as well as movie shoots in Mumbai, the home of Bollywood, would be permitted to keep if health measures are detected.
The statement came as Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, who lives in Mumbai, said Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19–the hottest Indian celebrity to contract the virus in the nation of 1.3 billion people.
“I wish to inform everyone that, earlier this morning, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” that the 53-year old celebrity tweeted.
He added that he was in house quarantine and has”sought necessary medical care”.
Saturday also saw Indian twist celebrity Axar Patel announce he’d tested positive and was in isolation before the start of the lucrative Twenty20 Indian Premier League championship.
The news came just a day after Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar said he had been hospitalised as a preventative measure after testing positive a week earlier.
India, which has the world’s third-highest number of instances after the US and Brazil, has reported almost 12.5 million infections and more than 164,000 deaths up to now.
Single-day infections have been rising since early February when they fell to below 9,000 after peaking at nearly 100,000 in September.
Mumbai, a megacity of 20 million people, recorded its highest single-day spike on Sunday with 11,163 new instances.
India has listed more than 483,000 cases in the previous seven days–an increase of 37 percentage compared to the previous week, according to an AFP database.
Brazil listed over 463,000 instances, but with a decreasing trend from the previous week, and the US reported under 451,000 infections.
In neighbouring Bangladesh, authorities said a seven-day lockdown would be imposed from Monday, with all domestic travel services including flights suspended, and malls and stores shut.
Banks are allowed to open for only 2.5 hours on weekdays, whereas private and public sector businesses were told to only have a skeleton crew in their offices.
“The corona(virus) infections are spreading fast. The infection and death rates are jumping,” Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader said in a video message late Saturday.
“In view of the prevailing situation, the Sheikh Hasina government has decided to enforce a lockdown across the country for seven days starting from Monday.”
The nation of 168 million individuals was grappling with a sharp rise in cases in recent weeks.
Health authorities noted 7,087 new instances on Sunday –the highest since the onset of the pandemic–carrying the infection toll to only beneath 640,000.
© 2021 AFP
Weekend lockdown, curfew for India’s richest state as virus explosion worsens (2021, April 4)
Recovered 4 April 2021
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