The Madhya Pradesh government on Friday announced that the three cities of Indore, Bhopal and Jabalpur will remain under lockdown on Sundays until further orders. The lockdown will be in effect from 10 pm on each Saturday to 6 am on Mondays, the state’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajesh Rajora said.

All schools and colleges will remain shut in the three cities till March 31. However, examinations, including competitive ones, will be held as per their earlier decided schedule, an official release stated. Essential services, industrial units and air and rail passengers will remain outside the purview of the restrictions, according to the government release.

The decisions were taken in a meeting between Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and senior state officials to take stock of the pandemic situation amid rising number of cases.

Earlier during the day, Madhya Pradesh suspended the bus services to and from Maharashtra. The ban will come into effect on Saturday and remain in force till March 31.

On Friday, Madhya Pradesh reported 1,140 coronavirus cases, while seven people died in the last 24 hours, according to NDTV. Indore (309 cases), Bhopal (272 cases) and Jabalpur (97 cases) were the worst-affected cities.

The fresh of coronavirus has resulted in a sharp spike in cases in several cities in the country. Delhi reported 716 cases – the highest this year, while Mumbai recorded 3,062 cases – the highest since the outbreak of the pandemic.