New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With the authorities on edge over the record spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed the administration to draw up a roadmap for second lockdown in the state. The move has already started drawing opposition from the government's own alliance partner NCP, other than the BJP which has warned of public protests. 

The Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government will review the COVID-19 situation in the state on April 2 and take a call on imposing a second lockdown. The state already reported 40,414 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, its highest single-day spike since the outbreak of pandemic last year. 

On Monday, the state added 31,643 fresh infections, taking the overall tally to 27,45,518. The detection of fewer cases on Monday is attributed to reduced testing because of Holi holiday. Mumbai alone has reported over 12,000 cases in the last two days. 

The state government is considering the possibility of imposing a secodn lockdown even as several districts have imposed restrictions like partial lockdowns and night curfews to curb the spread of virus. 

While experts have favoured the imposition of curbs on movement as well as trade and commerce, politicians fear that it could lead to public backlash. The BJP said that lockdown was not a solution for the rise in cases, adding that there is no objection to night curfew, but activities during the day should be continued.

Meanwhile, state minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik said the state cannot afford a lockdown and has reportedly asked Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to consider other options.

Thackeray held a meeting with health officials and the state's COVID-19 taskforce in which he said that a Standard Operating Procedure must be kept ready in the event of imposition of another lockdown in the state. He said a SoP should be put in place to ensure essential services, including supply of foodgrains, medicines and medical services. 

Maharashtra, along with Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, continue to report a surge in the COVID daily new cases, the Health Ministry said today, adding that these states account for 78.56 per cent of the new cases reported. 

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta