As Covid-19 Cases Continues To Rise, Several States Mull Stricter Curfew

Due to the continuous rise in COVID-19 cases, many state governments are mulling another lockdown. Recently, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad hinted at a possible lockdown if the need arises in Karnataka.

He said “We need to strictly enforce social distancing norms as well as compulsory wearing of masks. We cannot ignore these two basic requirements to keep this virus at bay. Even the slightest laxity in implementing these norms could push them to the brink of lockdown in Bengaluru at least.”

Notably, there has been a steady rise in cases in Bengaluru in the last few days. Neighbouring states like Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana which share a border with Karnataka have been reporting a large number of cases.

As many as 10 coronavirus cases were reported between February 15 and 22 from an apartment complex in Bengaluru’s Bellandur Ward, signaling an alert in the area.

The Union Health Ministry would be worried about the fact that 80 percent of the deaths are being reported from Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.

Maharashtra government has decided to put Amravati under a week-long curfew due to the rise in cases. The district administration stated that only shops selling essentials commodities will be allowed to remain open during the curfew from 8 am to 3 pm.

All schools and colleges in Pune will remain closed till February 28. The students are expected to be able to continue with their online classes.

India’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 have been impeccable of late. Though the country’s vaccination drive is in full swing, several states are witnessing a resurgence of coronavirus.

As many as 10,584 new COVID-19 cases and 78 deaths were reported in the country in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra recorded 6,971 fresh infections and 35 deaths on Sunday. The wavering situation propelled CM Uddhav Thackeray to take strict measures against the rampant infection.

In a video address, Thackeray said, “Do you want lockdown? The next eight days will decide. Maharashtra had reported around 7,000 COVID cases on Saturday. If the COVID-19 situation deteriorates, then we have to impose lockdown. Those who want a lockdown can roam around without mask while those who do not want it must wear a mask and follow all the rules.”

The Maharashtra government this month had extended Covid-19 guidelines for passengers arriving from Kerala, becoming the fifth state to come on Maharashtra’s ‘mandatory RT-PCR test’ list.

Also read: Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Chhagan Bhujbal Tests Positive For COVID-19

According to ministry data, in the past four weeks, Maharashtra’s weekly case count has been rising from 18,200 to 21,300 and the weekly positivity rate has jumped from 4.7% to 8%.

“The areas of concern are Mumbai suburban areas where weekly cases have risen by 19%. In Nagpur, Amravati, Nashik, Akola, and Yavatmal, the weekly cases increased by 33%, 47%, 23%, 55%, and 48%, respectively,” the ministry said.

Due to rise in COVID19 cases in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, MP & Chhattisgarh, travellers from these states will have to undergo testing on arrival in Uttarakhand.

As of 21 Feb, more than 74 percent of the active caseload were from Kerala and Maharashtra. Most of the states are reporting Covid cases as low as the May-June levels. But, in Kerala, the ICU beds are almost full.

Around 400 Covid-19 cases are being recorded in Alappuzha daily, which is not the highest in Kerala. While Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Malappuram have more daily positive cases, Alappuzha is a cause of special concern, according to the ministry, as its weekly positivity rate has increased to 10.7 percent.

Health experts blamed the over-confidence of the state government and its over-dependence on antigen tests, considered to be less accurate, than the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests believed to be the gold standard for Covid-19 diagnosis, for the rising number of cases and high positivity rate.

There has also been a spike in the daily cases in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir too are witnessing a surge in daily new cases.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh will review the COVID-19 situation in the state with health experts and senior officers on Tuesday.

World Health Organisation had acclimatized the situation and warned people that vaccine will not be enough to stop the virus. It further said that people must stick to public health measures to control the deadly virus.

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