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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 06 May 2021 6.52 PM IST

Maharashtra's last resort to control spread of Covid, Uddhav Thackeray likely to address the state after 8 pm today

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MUMBAI: With Maharashtra witnessing a worrying surge in COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is likely to announce a decision about lockdown across the state on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Maharashtra Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal had said: "We have made all the efforts to minimise the COVID-19 figures. He (CM Uddhav Thackeray) will announce the decision (to impose lockdown) tomorrow (Wednesday) after finalising a detailed Standard Operating Procedure.”

Bhujbal had added: “We may have to impose restrictions on the local train movement in Mumbai too.”

While talking to reporters, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had yesterday informed that the Chief Minister will announce the decision on lockdown in the state after 8 pm on Wednesday.

“We have requested the CM to announce a complete lockdown in the state from tomorrow at 8 pm. This was the request of all ministers to the Chief Minister. Now it is his decision," Tope had said.

"We have not yet received any letter from the Centre about the vaccination program for those above 18 years. The Chief Minister has said that the vaccination drive will be conducted in full swing and if needed we will take permission from the Centre to purchase vaccines from other countries,” added the state Health Minister.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde too underlined the necessity of lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have demanded complete lockdown…The cases are increasing. There is a scarcity of oxygen. There is no way out other than a complete lockdown," Shinde told reporters.

Notably, the Maharashtra government had on Tuesday ordered that all essential buying of food items shall be allowed for just four hours daily for the next 10 days in a bid to break the chain of coronavirus.

The government said that all groceries, vegetable shops, dairies, bakeries, fruit vendors, confectioneries, all types of food shops including those selling eggs, chicken, mutton, poultry, and fish, can stay open only between 7 am to 11 am daily.

The decree by Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte also covers shops related to pet food, agriculture implements and farm produce, and materials for the impending rainy season for individuals and organisations.

The shops are permitted to make home deliveries between 7 am to 8 pm, though the timings may be revised by the local authorities.

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