BHOPAL: With the fresh COVID-19 wave soaring with each passing day in Madhya Pradesh, the state government decided on Wednesday to extend the Sunday lock-down to four more cities.
The chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, meanwhile, ruled out total lock-down in the state but made it clear that more restrictions will be put in place during the coming festive season.
After the COVID-19 situation review meeting in Bhopal, which was chaired by the CM, it was decided to extend the Sunday lock-down (presently in place in Bhopal, Indore and Jabalpur) to four more cities, including Ratlam, Chhindwara, Betul and Khargone – which are among those cities reporting a major spurt in cases of the killer infection.
The lock-down in the seven cities will be effective from 10 pm on Saturday and continue till 6 am on Monday. Industrial activity, examinations, medical emergencies and airport and railway station bound travellers, however, will be exempt from the Sunday lock-down.
It was also decided to close cinema halls, clubs and swimming pools in those districts, whose daily average is more than 20 cases. Post-death ceremonies, including Uthawana and Mrityubhoj, will be banned in these districts. Even in marriage programs, not more than 50 persons will be allowed, while a maximum of 20 persons will be allowed in funeral processions.
In restaurants of these districts where daily cases are high, dining will be banned and only take away service will be allowed.
Meanwhile, the state reported 1712 new cases and seven deaths over the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases so far in the state to 2,80,289 and 3919 deaths. With 1700-plus more cases reported over the last 24 hours, the presently active cases in the state breached the 10,000 marks at 10,047 cases.
The daily positivity rate in the state too rose from the previous day’s 6.5% to 6.7% on Wednesday.
Indore continued to be the prime COVID-19 hotspot with 477 new cases and 2240 total active cases, while Bhopal was close with 385 new cases, but with 2766 active cases, which was more than Indore. Jabalpur which reported 143 new cases presently has 758 active cases.