A sudden surge in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra has handed its residents another lockdown. The state has registered 57,074 cases in one single day; the highest spike in cases since the pandemic began last year. The state capital Mumbai has also not been spared from the tremors of the virus. A total number of 11,163 cases from Mumbai have been registered. The deadly virus which had kept everyone locked in their homes last year has once again broken the humdrum of our daily lives. Maharashtra government has laid out strict protocols and lockdown rules to break the chain of propagation. With more than 4 lakh active cases spurring in the state; eight of the ten most affected districts are from Maharashtra.
Lockdown And IPL
With the biggest and much-awaited T20 league just right around the corner; a spike in Covid-19 cases might cost the lovers of the game handsomely. Although the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) has reported that the latest Government orders will not hamper the game.
Mumbai is set to host 10 IPL matches, Chennai Super Kings versus Delhi Capitals being the first of the many. Wankhede Stadium will witness these two teams take on each other on Saturday, 10th of April.
Although other cricketing activities have been put to a halt; the City Municipal officer has contacted the MCA officials and has given IPL a green signal. The matches in Mumbai will be held in Wankhede Stadium and will have teams such as Chennai Super Kings; Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings, playing their respective matches. These teams will face each other and a total of ten matches will be hosted from 10th to 24th April.
The Indian Premier League which was postponed and rescheduled to UAE last year due to the Covid-19 outbreak will resume from the 9th of April, Friday in Chennai. The defending champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore will face each other in the inaugural match of the IPL 2021 in MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Lockdown And Restrictions
New rules have been imposed by the Maharashtra government. Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray has been left with no choice but to restrict the irresponsible movements of his people to decrease the transmission of the virus. A night curfew has been issued all across the state from 8 pm to 7 am. During the weekend, there will be a lockdown effective starting from 8 pm Friday to Monday 7 am. The shopping complexes and supermarkets will be only open for take-away and parcels and government offices will function with only fifty percent of its staff while private sectors will undergo the work-from-home procedure.
IPL is scheduled to take place as it was planned. Although it will be played behind closed doors, the fans will extend their support with the same intensity from their homes. There have been no changes in the routine except a few strict restrictions. The hotels accommodating the teams will be reserved entirely for the squad and will be sealed off for those people who are not part of the traveling group.
The players and their family members will be staying in bio-secure bubbles. All cricketing activities have to be performed inside these bio-secure bubbles; any cricketing activity outside this bubble is restricted and will be put to a halt immediately. Four Bubble Integrity Managers will be appointed who would ensure that the sanctity of the bubble is maintained. If any player or group of players are found to violate or breach the rules of the bubble; the Integrity Managers will be the ones to inform the competent authority.
The players will not be allowed to exit this bubble without official notice from the BCCI Chief Medical Officer. For further protection of the players; they will have separate check-in counters to nullify the risk of the outside elements entering the biosecure bubble premises. The BCCI officials will not be granted permission to enter this bubble. They are not allowed to come in contact with any player or team officials. As per the other regular rules, every player has to quarantine themselves for 7 days before they are allowed to enter the bubble and come in contact with their respective teammates. Before entering the bubble all the players who are not coming from another biosecure bubble; have to undergo three RT-PCR tests. Only a negative test result will allow them to enter the bubble.
The Covid-19 vaccine drive is being conducted heavily throughout the country; thus unlike last year, the chances of IPL being postponed is quite less. As conditions become worse for the people in Maharashtra; hopefully, the lockdown and the night curfew will reduce the intensity of the spread and take the edge off the pain.