MUMBAI (Reuters) -India’s richest state, Maharashtra, announced stringent COVID-19 restrictions from Monday, after a rapid rise in infections now accounting for more than half the daily new cases in India.
The state, which includes the financial capital Mumbai, will shut down malls, cinemas, bars, restaurants and places of worship from Monday evening.
Authorities will also impose a complete lockdown on weekends, Nawab Malik, a minister in the state government, told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
Malik said the government will also impose a night curfew across the state from 8 pm to 7 am from Monday, allowing only essential services to operate during those hours.
The state’s Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray met with a group of top industrialists on Sunday before announcing the new restrictions, according to a statement from his office.
Coronavirus cases continue to rise rapidly in India with the number of new infections nearing an all-time high on Sunday, largely driven by infections in Maharashtra.
The country reported 93,249 new cases in the 24 hours to Sunday morning, according to data from the federal Health Ministry. Maharashtra, which accounts for less than a tenth of India’s population, accounted for a record 49,447 new cases.
The state, according to health ministry data, has contributed 57% of total cases and 47% of deaths in the country in the last 14 days.
India follows only the United States and Brazil in infections, with more than 12 million cases and nearly 165,000 deaths recorded since the start of the outbreak.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Sunday to review the COVID-19 situation and vaccination programme.
(Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav and Abhirup Roy, Editing by Rupam Jain, Frances Kerry, Peter Graff)