Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: Amid the alarming spike in coronavirus cases across Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government will decide on imposing a lockdown in the state after April 2.

Pawar, who reviewed the situation in the state on Friday, warned people to strictly follow COVID-19 norms otherwise the Maharashtra government will be forced to impose a lockdown.

"All officials, medical experts and people who attended this meeting are of the opinion that if the positive patients’ numbers go on increasing, then we won't have any option but to go for a strict lockdown again," Pawar said, as reported by India Today.

"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," he added.

Coronavirus cases in Maharashtra have been rising since the beginning of February, forcing the state government to impose restricted lockdowns and night curfew in several districts. On Thursday, the state reported nearly 36,000 fresh coronavirus cases, raising concerns among the authorities. Mumbai, which is one of the worst affected cities in India, reported over 5,500 coronavirus cases, its biggest single-day spike since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

Expressing concerns over the spike in cases, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has asked Maharashtra and five other states -- Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat -- to ramp up "testing and tracking" to break the chain of the infection.

On Thursday, it said three states -- Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab -- account for 74.32 per cent of total active cases in the country which has increased to 3.95 lakh and comprises 3.35 per cent of the total infections.

"Maharashtra alone accounts for 62.91 per cent of the total active cases in the country," the Health Ministry said, asking states and union territories (UTs) to reimpose restrictions in affected areas.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma