Uddhav Thackeray’s address follows a meeting of the state Covid task force that he chaired on Sunday.
Maharashtra may face new restrictions as it struggles with a record spike in coronavirus infections and deaths. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is widely expected to make significant announcements when he addresses the state at 8.30 pm tonight.
Mr Thackeray’s address follows a meeting of the state Covid task force that he chaired on Sunday.
Hours before the address, state minister Aslam Shaikh, who attended the task force meeting, talked about fresh restrictions.
“We tried a weekend lockdown, night curfew and other measures. We will come up with fresh guidelines today to break the chain of coronavirus. There will be a standard operating procedure for the entire state, which will be announced,” he said, according to Press Trust of India.
Mr Sheikh said “everyone” in the task force meet had favoured a lockdown in the state. Some felt that such a shutdown must be for two weeks and others suggested three weeks, he said, adding that the general view was at least eight days of lockdown were needed.
“Last time when the lockdown was imposed in the country many migrant labourers lost their lives while returning to their homes, so we don’t want such situations in the state again, that’s why we are taking all the stakeholders into confidence and we are talking to labourers and traders,” Mr Sheikh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Maharashtra has been reporting the highest number of Covid cases for weeks. On Sunday, the state reported 63,294 infections – the highest ever — but the cases dropped to 51,751 on Monday, apparently due to fewer tests over the weekend.
Yesterday, the Maharashtra government postponed the state board exams of Classes 10 and 12 scheduled later this month.
On Saturday, after an all-party meeting, Uddhav Thackeray had hinted at what he called “lockdown-like” restrictions to contain the spread in Maharashtra, which now accounts for around half the infections in the country daily.
“If a decision about the lockdown is not taken today, a lockdown-like situation will automatically come into force tomorrow… In this situation, we will have to bear some hardship to win this battle,” he had tweeted.