Covid cases rising, Maharashtra to impose weekend lockdown in Amravati

In the past few days, places like Amravati, Yavatmal, Akola in Maharashtra have witnessed an increased number of coronavirus cases.

Owing to a rise in novel coronavirus cases, a weekend lockdown will be imposed in Maharashtra’s Amravati district starting 8 pm on February 20. It will be in effect till 7 am on February 22.

“The markets will be shut from Saturday night till Monday morning. For now, this is being implemented for one day,” said Dr Dilip Ranmale, a district health officer in Amravati.

The decision comes as Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray warned of a possible lockdown if people do not prevent overcrowding and directed the district authorities to make all Covid norms stringent, including limited gathering during marriages, fines for face mask violations etc. In the past few days, places like Amravati, Yavatmal, Akola in Maharashtra have witnessed an increased number of coronavirus cases.

Until a month ago, Amravati city was recording less than 70 cases a day. In a month, the spike in cases in the entire district is fastest across the state, worrying officials of an unusual transmission pattern.

With 430 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, Amravati corporation joined Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur in its highest single day case record this year.

Meanwhile, genome sequencing of random Covid-19-infected samples has found E484K mutation in one sample in Amravati and N440K mutation in another sample in Yavatmal.

Doctors say the presence of E484K could explain why entire families are testing positive in Amravati that has recorded 2,843 new Covid-19 cases in the last one week and a positivity rate of 56.7 per cent, the highest in Maharashtra.

Civil surgeon Dr Shyamsunder Nikam said hospitalisations have soared in the district amidst an unusual surge although most cases are mild infections.

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