Covid-19 cases up, ‘partial lockdown’, curbs in 5 Vidarbha districts


WITH the Covid-19 positivity graph shooting up sharply in Maharashtra’s Amravati division, the authorities have reimposed strict restrictions in all its five districts — Amravati, Akola, Yavatmal, Buldana and Washim — with a “partial lockdown” in two of them.

The five districts, of the 11 in the Vidarbha region, saw 1,188 new cases on Thursday, with Amravati leading the chart with 597, followed by Yavatmal (237), Akola (179), Buldana (134) and Washim (41). Yavatmal’s tally more than doubled, to 237 new cases, from 109 on Wednesday.

Amravati district’s active caseload stood at 3,468 on Wednesday, up from 423 a month ago. Officials said daily deaths due to Covid-19 in the district were up from one-two deaths a month ago to three-four a day now.

Amravati Divisional Commissioner Piyush Singh told The Indian Express, “Restrictions have been imposed in all the five districts and a partial lockdown will be imposed in Akola and Amravati, the two most affected districts, from 5 pm on Saturday to 7 am on Sunday.”

Apart from these restrictions, Akola, Akot and Murtizapur in Akola district, Amravati and Achalpur in Amravati district and Yavatmal, Pusad and Pandharkawada in Yavatmal district have been declared containment zones.

Singh said the Amravati division was likely to move past its September peak of over 7,600 cases this month. “We have already seen more than 5,000 cases this month.”

In the Nagpur division in the Vidarbha region, cases continue to rise in Nagpur and Wardha districts.

The silver lining for Vidarbha is that fatality remains low. On Thursday, the 11 districts of the region saw 15 deaths attributed to Covid-19, with the maximum one-day toll in February being 18 on Wednesday.

As the new restrictions come into force in the Amravati division, no gatherings of more than 50 will be allowed at socio-religious or wedding functions. Schools and other educational institutions will remain closed till further notice, not more than five people will be allowed at public places, shops will shut before 8 pm, and the use of masks and sanitisers will be strictly enforced.

The five districts will also stress on institutional quarantine of Covid patients, with only those with proper isolation facilities at home allowed to quarantine themselves at their residences. Singh said they could take a call Friday on whether to impose a total ban on weddings in Amravati or not.

Singh and Yavatmal Collector M D Singh clarified that these were only restrictions and not a lockdown, as had been reported at some places.

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