Concerned by growing number of Covid-19 cases, Maharashtra's Yavatmal district ordered a ten-day lockdown from Thursday night. Earlier in the day, a weekend lockdown was announced in Amravati district of the same Vidarbha region from 8 pm on Saturday to 7 am on Monday.
Yavatmal Collector M D Singh said the number of Covid cases in the district was increasing since February 1, and the district has 606 active cases as of Wednesday.
Almost 80 to 90 per cent of new cases were being reported from Yavatmal, Pandharkawda, and Pusad cities, he said. "We have decided to conduct around 500 tests per day in Yavatmal, Pandharkawda and Pusad municipal corporations. Today we are ordering lockdown in Yavatmal district till February 28," Singh said.
Schools, colleges, coaching classes will remain closed and no religious functions will be allowed during this period, while only 50 persons will be allowed at weddings, he said.
In Amravati, markets and other establishments will remain shut from 8 pm on Saturday to 7 am on Monday. However, essential services will remain unaffected, it said.
Collector Shailesh Naval said on weekdays, all establishments, including hotels and restaurants, would stay open only till 8 pm (from earlier 10 pm).
Of late, Maharashtra has been witnessing a steady rise in Covid-19 cases. The state reported 4,787 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest one-day count this year.
Official sources had earlier said the Maharashtra government might impose a stricter lockdown in Yavatmal, Amravati, and Akola cities of Vidarbha region in view of the Covid-19 situation. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his deputy Ajit Pawar discussed the issue on Thursday morning, they said.