COVID severely hits Maharashtra again


Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope confirmed that he has tested positive for coronavirus infection. In a social media message, the Minister of Public Health said, “I have tested positive for COVID-19.”My health condition is fine. I appeal to those who have come into contact with me recently to get tested at the earliest,” he said.


“I will get better in the coming days and will be ready to serve the people of this state again,” he added.


He also further asked the people who came in his contact in recent days to be safe and go for the corona test.


Earlier in the morning, Maharashtra water resources minister and state NCP chief Jayant Patil had said that he had tested positive for coronavirus.


On the other hand, authorities in two eastern Maharashtra districts of Amravati and Yavatmal on Thursday announced strict implementation of restrictions, including a weekend lockdown in Amravati, to stem the rising cases of COVID-19.


A weekend lockdown was announced in Amravati district, from 8 pm on Saturday to 7 am on Monday, a period during which markets and other establishments will remain shut, but essential services will remain unaffected.


Schools (for students from Classes 5 to 9), colleges, and coaching classes in Yavatmal district will remain closed till February 28, while only 50 persons will be permitted at weddings, Yavatmal collector D M Singh said.


Religious places will remain open but COVID-19 protocols will be strictly implemented, he said.


Hotels and restaurants will be allowed to operate between 8 am to 9.30 pm, while markets and shops will remain open till 8 pm, Singh said.


Amravati Collector Shailesh Naval said on weekdays, all establishments in the district, including hotels and restaurants, would stay open only till 8 pm (from earlier 10 pm).


Yavatmal collector Singh said that they have not stopped anything in the district.


“However, strict enforcement of restrictions as per the guidelines of the Government of India and Government of Maharashtra is being implemented in the district,” Singh said.


Both Amravati and Yavatmal fall in Vidarbha, a region which has been reporting a steady rise in COVID-19 cases since the start of February.