All Maharashtra ministers have requested Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to impose a lockdown in the Covid-hit state and a decision on this will be announced tomorrow after 8 pm, minister Rajesh Tope said on Tuesday, amid a huge surge in coronavirus cases in the state.
"We have requested the CM to announce a complete lockdown in the state from tomorrow at 8 pm. This was the request of all ministers to CM, now it is his decision," Mr Tope was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Maharashtra, the worst-hit state in the country, has been reporting over 50,000 daily coronavirus cases for several days amid the rapid second wave of infections. On Tuesday, it reported 58,924 coronavirus cases and 351 fatalities in a day.
The massively increased caseload has exerted tremendous pressure on the state's health infrastructure, causing shortages of hospital beds, medicines and life-saving oxygen.
Earlier this month, Mr Thackeray had announced a weekend lockdown to bring the surge under control, but the coronavirus situation seems to be worsening in the state. Last week, Maharashtra consistently reported over 60,000 daily coronavirus cases.
On Monday, Delhi, the worst-hit city in the country that has reported over 32,000 daily cases, announced a lockdown from 10 pm yesterday to 5 am next Monday. The city, like Maharashtra, is suffering an acute shortage of medical oxygen. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said that several hospitals would run out of oxygen in a few hours.
On Tuesday, India registered 1,761 Covid deaths in the last 24 hours, the biggest one-day spike, and over 2.59 lakh new cases. This was sixth day that the country logged over 2 lakh cases.
Experts say people's carelessness about following anti-Covid rules, and mutant strains, are the two main reasons for the unprecedented surge.
Last month, Mr Thackeray had asked the people of the state to follow Covid rules - like social distancing and wearing masks - to avoid a lockdown.