The Maharashtra government on Sunday announced that a complete week-long lockdown will be enforced in Amravati district amid a surge in coronavirus cases, ANI reported. The lockdown will come into force from Monday.
Maharashtra minister Yashomati Thakur said that only essential services will be permitted during the lockdown period. She added that the lockdown will be extended if people do not adhere to safety norms, NDTV reported.
This came hours after the Pune district administration announced new restrictions on night-time movement, large gathering and operations of schools, eateries and bars amid a jump in new coronavirus infections.
Limited curfew would be imposed between 11 pm and 6 am from Monday. Schools and colleges in the district will remain closed till February 28. Private tuitions will remain shut, with the ones providing classes for civil services allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Marriage functions would require prior police permission.
Meanwhile, doctors said they found mutations in one sample each from Amravati and Yavatmal districts, The Indian Express reported. They added that the mutation could explain why whole families were testing positive for the coronavirus in Amravati district.
Dr Vivek Gujar from the Yavatmal Molecular Lab told the newspaper that they planned to collect more samples to ascertain whether the mutation was widespread.
“Like Amravati, in Yavatmal entire family of infected persons is testing positive for Covid-19,” he told The Indian Express. “This mutation can evade antibody response, if there are reinfections this mutation may be seen in those cases,” he said. “But so far we have not come across a rise in reinfections.”
The health department, on the other hand, denied that mutant strains from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil had been detected in the two districts, PTI reported. It cited results from genome sequencing of the samples.
Maharashtra has 49,630 active cases, 51,753 deaths, and 19,92,530 recoveries as of Sunday morning. The state reported over 6,000 new cases for the second straight day on Saturday. Mumbai and Amravati were the major contributors to this spike, PTI reported.
India reported 14,264 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, taking the total number of cases to 1,09,91,651, according to health ministry data. This was the highest number of daily infections recorded in 23 days.
The Centre has directed the states and Union Territories that have been experiencing a resurgence of coronavirus infections to improve the overall testing numbers by focusing on increasing the proportion of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR tests.