As Covid cases continued to mount, especially in northern and western India, state governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on Monday announced additional restrictions to control the spread of the disease.
While Maharashtra announced that no persons from Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa will be allowed to enter the state without a negative RT-PCR test report taken 72 to 96 hours before landing in the state, the Himachal Pradesh government closed all schools and colleges till December 31 and imposed night curfew in the four worst-affected districts of Mandi, Kangra, Shimla and Kullu from 8pm to 6am till December 15.
The Madhya Pradesh government extended the night curfew to six cities of the state including Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore and Jabalpur, and Gujarat decided to impose night curfew in four major cities — Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara. The two day weekend curfew in Ahmedabad ended on Monday morning.
The Rajasthan government has already announced to impose night curfew in eight districts, clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC in half of the state’s districts and has allowed only 75% of the staff in government and private offices. On Monday, the Rajasthan government asked all private hospitals to provide day care facilities to Covid patients at the government prescribed rates.
Most of the state governments such as Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra in the past one week have decided to close all educational institutions for the time-being or have postponed re-opening of the educational institutions. In Mumbai, educational institutions will remain closed till December 31 and in Pune till November 23.
Most states have also reversed the relaxation given in allowing social gatherings such as marriage and political functions. In Madhya Pradesh, not more than 250 persons would be allowed; in Uttar Pradesh the number has to be 100 and in Himachal 200, orders by the respective state governments on Monday said. Odisha is among the few states where religious places continue to remain closed.
These restrictions have been imposed as the Covid cases have witnessed a huge spike in the past fortnight with average daily increase in positive cases being highest in the past few months. In Rajasthan, the new positive cases reported in the last four days, have been almost half of the active cases there. One-fifth of the total Covid cases in Gujarat have been reported in the past fortnight. Similarly, Maharashtra is again witnessing an increase in daily cases. In Madhya Pradesh, the average every day increase in Covid cases has been about eight percent.