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As Covid-19 cases rise in Maharashtra, fresh lockdown ruled out

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New Delhi, Feb 16: There is no possibility of reimposition of a lockdown in Maharashtra amid rising Covid-19 cases. However, Maharashtra government may have to take some harsh decisions as people have stopped observing Covid-appropriate behaviour.

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According to health ministry data, Maharashtra has taken the notorious top spot in the country again, overtaking Kerala. On Monday, Maharashtra recorded 3,365 new cases, higher than Kerala's count of 2,884.

Monday was the sixth consecutive day Maharashtra reported more than 3,000 Covid-19 infections. From February 10 to 15, it recorded 3,451; 3,297; 3,670; 3,611; 4,092 and 3,365 cases respectively, triggering fear of fresh infections in the state.

The last time it logged the highest daily case count in the country was on January 4.

Some districts in Vidarbha region in east Maharashtra, especially Amravati and Nagpur, and Nashik in north Maharashtra have seen the number of new cases rising over the last few days.

Night curfew in Amravati

Alarmed by the growing number of coronavirus positive cases in Amravati district of Maharashtra since the beginning of February, the district administration has imposed a night curfew but ruled out the possibility of imposition of a fresh lockdown.

District Collector Shailesh Naval told PTI on Monday that the rise in the cases can be attributed to more number of people coming forward for testing.

Amravati district on Monday reported 449 fresh coronavirus positive cases, taking the count to 25,743.

"The curfew is aimed at controlling crowding at public and market places. It does not mean closing down businesses or markets which will function as usual," the collector said.

Maharashtra may tae harsh decision

Speaking to reporters, Pawar expressed displeasure over people not following the pandemic-appropriate behaviour and violating guidelines.

Pawar, who also holds Finance ministry, was in Aurangabad to chair a review meeting of eight districts under the Marathwada region.

"I have come across ((reports that) people are not following the COVID-19 guidelines which are aimed at checking the spread of the infection. If the situation worsens, we may need to pay heavy cost for this carelessness. The number (of new cases in the state) is alarming. We have seen that lockdown was imposed in many parts of the world again in view of the second wave of the pandemic," he said.

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    Pawar said the matter will be discussed with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai tonight.

    "Harsh decisions can be taken and the people should remain prepared. If certain decisions are not taken in time then we will have to pay a heavy cost later," he added.

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