The district administration in Maharashtra’s Jalna has ordered the shutting down of educational institutions and weekly markets till March 31 in view of the rise in coronavirus cases, ANI reported on Wednesday. However, the schools will operate for Classes 10 and 12, according to PTI.

“Jalna district collector has ordered to shut schools, colleges, coaching classes and weekly markets in the district till March 31, due to current Covid-19 situation,” Jalna Superintendent of Police V Deshmukh told ANI. “Rapid antigen test of all vegetable, fruit, newspaper vendors will be conducted periodically.”

The decision was taken following a meeting between the district collector and other officials, PTI reported. Earlier this week, the “Jalicha Dev” temple in Jaidev Wadi in Jalna district was temporarily closed after 55 people living in and around it tested positive, according to PTI.

Maharashtra has witnessed a sudden spike in cases over the past one week. On Tuesday, the state recorded 6,218 new cases of coronavirus – the most among all states. Earlier this week, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced a ban on all political, religious and social gatherings across the state.

A week-long lockdown has already been imposed in Amaravati district, which alone reported 786 new cases on Tuesday. On February 18, researchers said that during genome sequencing of Covid-19-infected blood samples, they found the “E484 K” mutation of the virus in four of them from Amravati. Since this mutation has been found in the new, fast-spreading strains in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, district officials have been concerned that the variant could transmit quickly across Maharashtra and the country.

In Pune, a limited curfew has been imposed between 11 pm and 6 am since Monday, while Parbhani district imposed restrictions on travel from 11 places in the Vidarbha region.