Weekend lockdown and curfew in India’s richest state

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The Indian state of Maharashtra, where Bombay, the financial capital is located, will impose a weekend lockdown and a nighttime curfew on its 110 million inhabitants to deal with an upsurge in the pandemic, authorities said on Sunday. .

• Read also: All the developments of the pandemic

India recorded 93,249 new infections on Sunday, according to figures from the Ministry of Health, the largest increase since September, bringing the number of known cases to nearly 12.5 million.

The state of Maharashtra has been the most affected in the country for several weeks.

From Monday evening until the end of April, a nighttime curfew will be imposed, gatherings of more than 4 people prohibited and restaurants, cinemas, swimming pools, places of worship and public spaces such as beaches, closed.

On weekends, only essential services will be authorized.

“In imposing these restrictions, we have been careful not to affect the state’s economic cycle (…) and the emphasis has been on closing crowded places,” the state government explained in a press release on Sunday evening.

Industrial activity is not limited, just like filming in Bombay, the cradle of Bollywood.

The announcement comes as one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, Akshay Kumar, announced on Sunday that he tested positive for COVID-19.

“I would like to tell you that this morning I tested positive for COVID-19,” the 53-year-old actor tweeted, indicating he was in home quarantine.

Last year, Mr. Kumar said he drank cow’s urine daily to stay healthy, a practice that would have medical benefits, especially against the coronavirus, according to some Hindus.

Daily contaminations in this country of 1.3 billion inhabitants have been on the rise since the beginning of February. They had then fallen below the 9,000 mark, after reaching a peak of nearly 100,000 in September.

Prior to Sunday, India had recorded more than 456,000 cases in the past seven days, an increase of 37% from the previous week, according to an AFP database.

In neighboring Bangladesh, authorities announced the establishment of containment from Monday, the country also facing a sharp increase in the number of cases.

On Friday, it announced 6,830 new daily cases, the highest number since the start of the pandemic, bringing the total number of people carrying the virus to more than 630,000.

Public transport is expected to be at a standstill, but factories will remain open, the government said on Saturday evening.