MUMBAI — India’s worst-hit and richest state India’s worst-hit and richest state Maharashtra will impose stricter restrictions for 15 days on Wednesday in an effort to stem the surge of coronavirus infections that is threatening to overcome hospitals.
Top Maharashtra state officials stressed that the closure of most industries, businesses, public places and limits on the movement of people didn’t constitute a lockdown.
Last year, a sudden, harsh, nationwide lockdown left millions of people in India jobless overnight. Stranded in cities with no income or food, thousands of migrant workers walked on highways to get home. Since then, state leaders have repeatedly stressed that another lockdown wasn’t in the cards.
India on Wednesday reported over 180,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, about a third in Maharashtra state, and a total of 13.9 million cases in the pandemic.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that most public places, shops and establishments will be shut for 15 days starting 8 p.m. Wednesday, except for essential services like grocery stores and bank..