Mumbai: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said that planning for a lockdown is underway and the state government would give residents adequate time so that they can prepare themselves before a total shutdown is imposed. “We have started planning for a lockdown. Discussions on its impact and the interventions needed to minimise the impact are being held”, Tope told a leading daily. Also Read - 6 Dead as Cyclone Tauktae Batters Goa, Karnataka, Kerala; Gujarat Braces For Impact | Key Points

Speaking to the Times of India, senior officials said that the work of drafting SOPs on how the lockdown will be imposed is on. Earlier Tope had stated that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will take a final decision regarding imposing a statewide lockdown after April 14. Also Read - Mumbai: Covid-19 Vaccination Drive to Remain Shut on Monday Due to Cyclone Tauktae Warning

Echoing similar remarks, Maharashtra minister Aslam Shaikh said that the people will get enough time to prepare for a lockdown before it is implemented. Also Read - Very Heavy Rains Likely in Mumbai, Thane as Cyclone Tauktae Intensifies

“The state govt is making a fool-proof plan on what needs to be allowed and for how many days, during the lockdown. This will give sufficient time to people if they want to move somewhere or come here and prepare them mentally, ahead of lockdown,” Sheikh informed.

On Saturday, CM Thackeray after an all-party meeting had indicated the imposition of a strict lockdown in the state given the alarming rise in Covid-19 cases. He had asserted that if state-wide lockdown will be reimposed, all issues of poor, labourers, and daily-wagers will be addressed.  “It will be ensured that the poor and the working class people won’t suffer while imposing strict restrictions,” Thackeray said, hinting at implementing tough curbs.

Meanwhile, a day after recording the highest ever new infections, Maharashtra’s Covid-19 cases and fatalities plummeted sharply, but the state death toll shot above 58,000. After the peak of 63,294 cases recorded on Sunday, the state reported 51,751 new cases, and the overall tally shot up to 34,58,996.

The state fatalities dropped from 349 to 258, while the toll shot up to 58,245 now, the worst in the country. Mumbai added 6,893 new infections, down from 9,986 a day earlier, taking its tally to 527,391 till date, 8 days after notching the highest daily infections of 11,206 on April 4, at the end of the first ‘weekend lockdown’.

With 43 more deaths, the total fatalities in the country’s commercial capital went up to 12,066. The state recovery rate improved from 81.65 per cent on Sunday to 81.93 per cent, while the death rate got better from 1.07 per cent a day earlier to 1.68 per cent, and the number of active cases decreased to 564,746 – for the first time in over a week.