Maharashtra’s Amravati has been under a week-long lockdown from 8pm on Monday amid a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the city.
The curfew will continue till 6pm on March 1.
Only shops selling essential items will be allowed to remain open from 8am to 3pm everyday for the public.
To implement the lockdown, 2,000 personnel of the Amravati city police and other security forces have been deployed.
The border of the city has been sealed and the main chowks are being strictly monitored by the personnel at all hours of the day, Amravati Police Commissioner Aarti Singh said today.
“I request the citizens of the city to stay at home and co-operate with us,” Ms Singh added.
“There should be no unnecessary movement of the public otherwise there will be strict action,” the officer warned.
Streets in Amravati wore a deserted look today – photos from the city showed empty roads and hardly any people were on the streets.
Three districts of Maharashtra, Amravati, Akola and Yavatmal have recently seen cases of the mutated strain of the coronavirus.
Dr Shashank Joshi, who is with the Covid task force in Maharashtra, told NDTV that a highly transmissible strain of the virus has been found in four people in Amravati.
“The new strain has escaped immunity and is highly transmissible. Covid caused by this strain is the same as regular Covid. However, it’s more transmissible just like the UK, Brazilian or the South African strain,” Dr Joshi added.
Another mutation was seen in the state’s Yavatmal district. In that region, there are two mutant strains, Dr Joshi told NDTV.
Dr TP Lahane, the Director of Medical Education and Research in Maharashtra added that the strains in Amravati, Akola and Yavatmal are not the Brazil or UK strain. He told NDTV in an interview that samples from these areas are being studied.
“There is a mutation that we are seeing and the number of the cases is increasing in these three districts. In a few places, it is increasing more than 5 per cent,” Dr Lahane added.
Due to the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said the coming eight days will decide whether there will be another lockdown in the state.