The Prime Minister of Maharashtra in western India warned that a complete blockade could be imposed unless the number of cases of Covid-19 began to decline.
Uddhav Thackeray warned that people have failed to take precautions and that the state’s health care system could become “insufficient” within a few weeks.
Maharashtra recorded at least 47,828 cases on Friday.
On the same day, India reported 81,466 new cases and 469 deaths. This is the daily surge since December.
In a speech aired on television, Thackeray said:
He added that some people had been infected with Covid-19 after being vaccinated because they stopped wearing masks.
Last Sunday he asked authorities to prepare a plan to impose a blockade, saying people were not following safety rules.
However, the idea of a new restriction was hit by resistance from opposition parties, the general public, and even within the government.
The city of Pune has already imposed a curfew and closed religious places, hotels, bars, shopping malls and cinemas for a week.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, India has reported more than 12.2 million cases and more than 163,000 deaths. This is the third highest number of Covid-19 infections in the world after the United States and Brazil.
The number of cases of Covid in India dropped sharply in January, with less than 15,000 infections per day.
However, cases began to surge again in March, primarily due to inadequate test and tracing and loose safety protocols.
On Thursday, India launched the third phase of a coronavirus vaccination drive for people over the age of 45 who are eligible for jabs. In the first two phases, frontline workers and people over the age of 60 were vaccinated.
So far, India has given more than 68 million doses. The world’s largest vaccination drive aims to cover 250 million people by July, but experts say the pace needs to be further increased to stop the spread.
Some believe that the recent increase in numbers is due to a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus, but the government has denied this.
According to experts, the second wave in India has weakened people’s alertness and encouraged governments to mix messages.
After the infectious disease had diminished and he was locked up in his house for nearly a year, complacency grew, and many Indians began attending large weddings and family events and visiting crowded markets.
Thousands of people also participate in large election rallies in some states where regional elections are held.