Amravati district in Maharashtra will be placed under lockdown for a week amid rising cases of COVID-19 in the state. Cabinet Minister Yashomati Thakur said the lockdown will kick in from Monday evening.
The government said only essential services will be allowed to function during the strict seven-day lockdown.
The lockdown will be extended if people do not follow safety rules, the minister said, adding the decision to stop all non-essential activity was taken after COVID-19 cases continued to rise in Maharashtra.
The announcement for the lockdown in Amravati comes hours after the district administration in Pune shut down schools and coaching centres till February 28. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar met with senior officials to assess the COVID-19 situation in the district before taking the decision.
Earlier today, Maharashtra minister Vijay Wadettiwar said they are considering night curfew and a decision would be taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
"Coronavirus cases are rising in Nagpur, Akola, Amaravati, Yavatmal, Mumbai and Pune. We have asked the district administration to take a call on lockdown or other restrictions after assessing the situation on the ground," Mr Wadettiwar said.
Maharashtra today reported 6,971 fresh cases and 35 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. Of these, 921 cases were reported from Mumbai. Some 2,417 were discharged from hospital.
The cases are also rising in some states amid the COVID-19 vaccination drive. 240 new strains of the coronavirus have surfaced across India, which are behind the fresh surge of infections being seen since last week, Dr Shahshank Joshi, member of Maharashtra's COVID-19 Task Force, has told NDTV.
The government's vaccination plan depends on creating herd immunity by immunising a critical mass of people. In the first phase of vaccination, the government plans to immunise 3 crore health workers and frontline workers. After it will be the turn of 27 crore people who are above the age of 50 years or have co-morbidities.