Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: With Maharashtra reporting 40,414 fresh coronavirus cases, the biggest single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday directed the officials to prepare for another lockdown as "people were not following safety rules".

"Plan for lockdown... If there is no adherence to restrictions by the people, we may have to go in for it (lockdown) if people fail to follow the new normal," Thackeray said at a COVID review meet.

Maharashtra, which is the worst-hit state in India, has reported a spike in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of February, forcing state authorities to reimpose restrictions, including partial lockdowns and night curfews, in several districts.

Notably, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had also held a review meet last week and said that the state government would decide on imposing another lockdown after April 2, giving people time to prepare for the restrictions.

"We are going to monitor the coronavirus cases in the state till April 2 and if we observe that people are not following social distancing norms, then the government won't be left with any option and we might go for lockdown," Pawar had said earlier.

Though the state government is mulling a lockdown, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan last week said that restrictions like night curfews and lockdowns won't help in controlling COVID-19 and asserted that vaccination is the only way to break the chain of the infection.

"Physical distancing is an established non-pharmaceutical intervention to suppress and contain the spread of Covid virus. A modality for ensuring such physical measures have to be evidence-based. In this context partial lockdowns such as night curfews or weekend lockdowns would not have much impact on the transmission cycle," Vardhan said at the Times Network India Economic Conclave last week.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma