Nagpur, India Is First Major City To Return To Lockdown

Nagpur in western India is to be the first major city in the country to return to a complete lockdown amid a sharp spike in coronavirus cases.

The week-long lockdown, which starts on 15 March, will extend to adjoining areas of the district as well.

Maharashtra state, where Nagpur is located, has always been a Covid hotspot, with the highest number of active and confirmed cases in India.

India has recorded more than 11 million cases and 157,000 deaths so far.

Caseloads have declined sharply in recent months across the country, but six states, including Maharashtra, have been reporting a fresh surge.

Amaravati district, also in Maharashtra, was put under a week-long complete lockdown in February due to a spike in cases.

Scientists fear that new variants could be one of the reasons for the uptick in the state.

The other is laxity in following Covid-19 safety protocols. Lack of masking and social distancing, and poor test and trace has all added to the spike in Maharashtra, Dr Sanjay Oak, a member of the state’s Covid task force, told the BBC recently.

This comes early on in India ‘s vaccination drive, which began in January. More than 20 million people have been given at least one dose of a Covid vaccine so far.