Mumbai | Jagran Education Desk: Amid the alarming spike in coronavirus cases across Maharashtra, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Friday announced that it has decided to postpone the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) entrance exams scheduled for April 11 till further orders.

The chief minister's office (CMO) in a statement said that the decision was taken after a high-level meet by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, cabinet ministers, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Pravin Darekar, MNS chief Raj Thackeray and senior officials.

The state government had earlier conducted the first phase of the exams on March 21 and said that the other two phases will be held as per the revised schedule. The MPSC exams are conducted in Maharashtra to select candidates for the post of Assistant State Tax Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Project Officer, Deputy Superintendent in Land Record, Deputy Superintendent in State Excise and other posts in the state government.

Maharashtra, which is the worst affected state in India by the COVID-19 pandemic, has been hit by the second wave of coronavirus that has forced the state government to imposed restrictions, including weekend lockdowns and night curfews, in several parts of the state.

Earlier, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope warned that the state government will be forced to imposed a lockdown in the state if coronavirus cases continue to rise. Speaking with an English news channel, Tope said Maharashtra is "heading towards a lockdown" and stressed that appropriate COVID behaviour needs to be followed to avoid such a situation.

The state had on Wednesday reported more than 56,000 fresh coronavirus cases and over 370 fatalities. The state health department, in its daily updates, said that Maharashtra has a fatality rate of 1.77 per cent while adding that 26.49 people have recovered from the infection so far.

It said that Mumbai continues to be the worst-hit city in Maharashtra with nearly 4.92 lakh coronavirus cases. Pune and Nagpur, meanwhile, have shown a spike in cases, the state health department said, adding that they reported 13,561 and 8,723 cases respectively on Wednesday.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma