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Complete COVID-19 lockdown in Maharashtra likely, CM Uddhav Thackeray to take final call

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Mumbai, Apr 20: As Maharashtra grapples with COVID-19 surge despite the state govt imposing partial curbs, Uddhav Thackeray government is planning for a full lockdown where even essential services could be curtailed.

Uddhav Thackeray

"Looking at the shortage of supply of medical oxygen, Maharashtra is heading towards a complete lockdown. Guidelines regarding it will be announced soon," Maharashtra Minister Aslam Sheikh said after a high-level meeting.

"We have requested the chief minister to announce a complete lockdown in the state from 8pm tomorrow. This was the request of all ministers to CM, now it is his decision," said Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope.

The state has been adding more than 50,000 COVID-19 cases daily over the last two weeks. Various other restrictions are already in place under the state''s Break the chain'' program to control the spread of the virus.

Grocery and food shops will remain open only between 7 am to 11 am till May 1, the Maharashtra government announced on Tuesday as part of its efforts to curb the alarming rise in coronavirus cases.

The latest order was issued by the Disaster Management and Relief and Rehabilitation department.

"All grocery, vegetable shops, fruit vendors, dairies, bakeries, confectioneries, all types of food shops including chicken, mutton, poultry, fish and eggs, shops related to agricultural implements and farm produce, pet food shops, shops related to materials for impending rainy season" will remain open from 7 am to 11 am, said the order.

Home delivery from such shops may be allowed between 7 am to 8 pm, but the time window can be changed by local authorities, it said.

Local authorities can include additional services or entities in the essential services category only after the consent of the state Disaster Management Authority, the order said.

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