Centre Had Made It Clear To Maharashtra Govt That Weekend Lockdowns Don't Work: ReportUddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar (Twitter) 

The central government had clearly told the Maharashtra state government two weeks ago that measures such as weekend lockdowns hardly manage to contain the transmission of Covid-19 infections.

Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba had headed a high-level meeting to review the prevailing pandemic situation in the country.

“The Chief Secretary, Maharashtra, received the largest chunk of time during the Cabinet Secretary meeting. However, no one discussed any imposition of a weekend lockdown,” a top government source, present in the meeting, told the Indian Express.

In fact, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had written to Maharashtra’s Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte on 15 March and insisted that the district administration should largely focus on implementing a strict and effective containment strategy.

However, senior officials from the Maharashtra government defended the move and said that the overall health infrastructure in the state would have been overwhelmed by 17 April given the ongoing circumstances.

The central government had also warned that the health infrastructure must be prepared for the worst-case scenario with sufficient lead time. The state governments were particularly asked to enhance their definition of containment zones, develop an operational plan for each one of them, review its formation daily and to consistently train surveillance teams.

On Sunday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced the rollout of daily night curfew and weekend lockdowns.

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