On the first day of the weekend lockdown imposed across Maharashtra in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases, streets wore a deserted look in many parts of Mumbai. Police set up barricades at places like Link Road near Ghatkopar bus depot. There were people lining up only in front of wine shops in certain places.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has permitted citizens, who are eligible to get the Covid jab, to travel only to the vaccination centres and back during lockdown. With all non-essential supply shops shut, S V Road near Andheri Station (West) was empty throughout the day.
Places such as Andheri-Kurla Link Road or Dadar flower market, which witness heavy footfalls during the day, were empty on Saturday.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will hold an all-party meeting on Saturday to build consensus on the steps needed to break the chain of transmission. The possibility of imposing a complete lockdown will also likely be discussed during the meeting.
On Friday, Health Minister Rajesh Tope had said Maharashtra seemed headed towards a lockdown while Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said the time for such a step was already here.
The state has reported more than 50,000 Covid-19 cases daily for some time now.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday that 1,45,384 fresh cases were reported in the last 24 hours in the country, a new record high.
Fearing another possibility of total lockdown, migrant workers and their families have been leaving the state to return to their hometowns again. To allay any apprehensions, Maharashtra Labour Minister Hasan Mushrif has requested migrant workers to not leave the state, and assured them that the government has no plans of shutting down industrial production.
“There have been a few instances where migrant labourers have left the state. I request them not to do so and fall prey to rumours,” Labour Minister Hasan Mushrif said after taking charge of the ministry on Wednesday. Under no circumstances will the state government allow the shutting down of factories, industries and businesses in the unorganised sector in this period, he added.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress MLA Raosaheb Antapurkar died while undergoing treatment for post-COVID complications at a hospital, party sources said on Saturday.
Antapurkar, who was 64, died at Bombay Hospital on Friday night, they said. He suffered a multi-organ failure and has been on ventilator support since April 1.
(With inputs from PTI)