Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday imposed a lockdown in the state till May 15. He said the decision was taken after a meeting with ministers and officials.

“In relation to its detailed guidelines and other activities, the crisis management group has been today instructed to take action,” the chief minister tweeted.

The decision to impose lockdown came a day after the Patna High Court pulled up the state government as coronavirus cases continued to surge, reported The Hindu.

“It is like a complete failure, as infection seems to be unabated,” observed a bench of Justices Chakradhari Sharan Singh and Mohit Kumar Shah. “The government seems to be gripped by a state of indecision.”

The court said it a lockdown should be imposed in the state. “Either the state government declares a lockdown or the court will have to pass an appropriate order,” it added.

The judges said the state government had no action plan to deal with the health crisis. “We had directed the state government to prepare a comprehensive action plan for Covid-19 management on April 15 and since then we’ve been reiterating during every hearing on the PILs [public interest litigations] of the pandemic but to no avail,” the court said. “Whatever plan you’ve submitted is not up to the mark and no effective steps has been taken since April 15. Everything is an eyewash”.

Rashtriya Janata Dal Tejashwi Yadav hit out at the chief minister for not imposing a lockdown earlier.

“For 15 days, the entire opposition had been demanding a lockdown, but the younger brother was following the orders of his elder brother that the lockdown is not to be done till 2 May,” Yadav tweeted. “Now when the infection spread from village to village, they are pretending. In this crisis, come out of low-level gimmick and politics.”

On Monday, the Bihar unit of the Indian Medical Association as well as the heads of four government hospitals in Patna had also urged the government to impose a 15-day lockdown.

Bihar on Monday registered 11,407 new coronavirus cases, breaching the five lakh mark of total infections since the pandemic broke out last year, reported PTI. With 82 more fatalities, the toll rose to 2,821.