The Madhya Pradesh government has announced a complete lockdown in the state till May 15 to bring under control the coronavirus surge that has overwhelmed health infrastructures across the country. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the state can't remain open with an 18 per cent case positivity rate.
"To break the chain of transmission of the coronavirus in the state, we have to completely shut everything till May 15 -- strict 'Janata Curfew'," he said.
"We can't shut things for too long, but with more than 18% positivity, we can't remain open," he added.
On Thursday, Madhya Pradesh reported 12,421 coronavirus cases and 86 fatalities in 24 hours.
A total of 12,965 patients were discharged from hospitals in 24 hours, taking the count of recoveries to 5,42,632, according to official data.
The number of active cases in the state is 88,614.
Several states, including Delhi, Bihar and Maharashtra, have imposed lockdowns or lockdown-like restrictions to bring down active caseloads brought on by the rapid second wave of infections.
Many of these states had been reluctant to impose severe restrictions as they could severely harm their economies.
However, acute shortages of hospital beds and life-saving medical supplies because of the rapidly growing caseloads forced them to make the tough choice between lives and livelihoods.
India has been constantly reporting more than three lakh daily cases and thousands of deaths every day.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month urged states to use complete lockdowns as the last resort. However, with the surge causing mayhem in several parts of the country, many politicians are now demanding a nationwide shutdown.
With inputs from agencies