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Maharashtra Weighing Lockdown Option, MP Cities Impose Sunday Lockdown, Gujarat Says “No” to Lockdown

Maharashtra Weighing Lockdown Option, MP Cities Impose Sunday Lockdown, Gujarat Says “No” to Lockdown

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NEW DELHI, Mar 19: Even as Maharashtra government is considering the option of re-imposition of lockdown in the state due to the second surge in the Covid-19 cases, the Madhya Pradesh government has decided to impose one-day lockdown on Sunday (March 21) in Indore, Bhopal and Jabalpur in the wake of rise in Covid-19 cases in these cities.

Besides this, all schools and colleges in these three cities will remain closed till March 31, official sources said.

“Lockdown is certainly an option,” the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday as the state reported  a sharp surge in new confirmed cases of Covid-19. Measures such as night curfews and weekend lockdowns are already in place in various parts of the state.

The new strain of the novel coronavirus is here and numbers are also growing, CM Thackeray said. But he expected people to co-operate in implementing Covid protocols strictly to avert an eventuality like state-wide lockdown.

The Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, however, has ruled out lockdown like the last year in any part of the state.

The Bihar Government has cancelled leaves of all doctors and healthcare workers, paramedical staff till April 5 in view of the Covid-19 situation.

Meanwhile, more European countries have started resuming AstraZeneca vaccine. After Italy, Germany, France and other European nations announced plans to resume using AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday after EU and British regulators moved to shore up confidence in the shot, saying its benefits outweigh the risks.

Reports of rare brain blood clots had prompted more than a dozen nations to suspend use of the shot, the latest challenge for AstraZeneca’s ambition to produce a “vaccine for the world”, as the global death toll from the coronavirus passes 2.8 million.

Soon after the European Medicines Agency issued a statement saying AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine is safe and didn’t increase the overall incidence of blood clots, Indonesia also resumed use of the vaccine.

Indonesia had delayed rollout of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine after more than a dozen countries in Europe suspended the vaccine due to concerns of some people who received the vaccine developing blood clots.

“The benefits of using the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca outweigh the possible risks, so that we can start to use it,” Indonesia’s Food and Drug Authority said. Previously the World Health Organization said it saw no evidence the vaccine was to blame for the clots.

(Manas Dasgupta)

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