Mumbai: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope cautioned on Thursday that the state could witness a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases in April.
At present Maharashtra has at least 47 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 disease.
"Study shows that fewer cases are found initially but the number suddenly goes up after a couple of weeks. I am concerned about the situation in April when we may witness a spike in number of positive cases," Tope said.
"Several special flights are being arranged to bring back Indians stranded in other countries, which may increase the number of coronavirus-infected patients," the minister added.
The state government was making every effort to avoid Maharashtra entering `the third phase' where the virus infection spreads locally (as against among only those who come in contact with travelers from outside), he stated.
Asked about whether there should be a complete lock- down (restriction of movement), he said, "We are of the same opinion (it is desirable). But we want people to take necessary precautions voluntarily, including not going to work when it is not needed.
"If people still defy this advice, then we will have to lock down the cities, especially Mumbai and other major municipal corporations," Tope said.