Maharashtra on Saturday once again broke its own record and registered 27,126 new coronavirus cases – the highest ever since the pandemic broke out last year. With this, the total infections in the state rose to 24,49,147. The toll increased by 92 to 53,300.

As many as 22,03,553 people have recovered from the disease in the state so far, while the active cases stood at 1,91,006.

Maharashtra Cabinet minister and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s son, Aaditya Thackeray, announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus. He said his symptoms were mild, and asked those who came in contact with him to get themselves tested.

In Mumbai, which is among the worst-hit cities in Maharashtra, 2,982 new infections were reported in 24 hours. This was slightly lower than the 3,062 infections logged on Friday, the highest so far. The city’s tally rose to 3,58,896, while the toll went up to 11,576 with seven new deaths.

Alarmed by the surge in cases, the city’s civic body announced that it will randomly conduct Rapid Antigen tests on people at crowded places without their consent, The Times of India reported. This includes malls, railway stations [for inbound trains], bus depots, marketplaces, tourist places and government offices, an order by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said.

The train stations where mandatory and random tests will be done are Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Mumbai Central, Dadar Western and Central, Bandra Terminal, Andheri, Borivali and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Kurla. The bus depots, which fall under the order, are Mumbai Central, Parel, Borivali and Kurla.

“If the citizen refuses to test, it would amount to an offence under the Epidemic Act, 1897,” the civic body added. “Hence, action shall be initiated against the offender.”

The cost of testing for coronavirus at malls will be borne by those who are getting tested, the municipal body said in the order. In other public spaces, the civic body will pay for the tests. Authorities aim to test at least 400 people daily in malls, and 1,000 at railway stations.

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases in the country. While infections dropped for some time in September and October, they have surged again over the last few weeks.

Alarmed by signs that a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is building, several districts in Maharashtra have announced new restrictions on people’s movement and imposed night curfews in some cities. Brief shutdowns have also been imposed in some areas.

On Friday, the Maharashtra government announced a new set of curbs to combat the surge in coronavirus cases. All offices, cinema halls and auditoriums in the state will operate with 50% attendance till March 31. Shopping malls will only allow entry to visitors wearing masks.

The restrictions may get stricter as the state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that imposition of a lockdown was an option to counter the fresh wave of cases. He, however, expressed confidence that people of the state will follow the existing restriction norms voluntarily. He also appealed to the people to get inoculated without any fear.