Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said a decision on whether to implement lockdown in the state will be taken in two days. Addressing citizens on the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, Thackeray said he will speak to industry experts, doctors and issue fresh guidelines on restrictions.
While warning citizens to follow social distancing and wearing masks, Thackeray also asked those against a lockdown, to put in efforts to support doctors and front line workers. He further lauded the state's efforts to tackle the virus by increasing tests, beds, and vaccination.
The state has doubled its testing capacity from 75,000 tests daily to 1,82,000 daily tests of which 70% are RT- PCR tests. Currently, the state has over 3.75 lakh beds. From the normal 2.5 lakh isolation beds over 62% are occupied, 48% of the 20,000 ICU beds, 25% of the 60,000 oxygen beds, and 25% of the 9,000 Ventilator beds are currently occupied.
The state vaccinated close to three lakh people in one day on April 1. Thackeray mentioned that if the Centre allocates more vaccines to the state, the state machinery has the potential to vaccinate close to six-seven lakh people daily.
Thackeray also emphasised that even though the state could increase testing, beds, and vaccination, several health and front line workers have already been infected by the novel coronavirus but have again put their lives at risk.
Driving the point to keep wearing masks even after vaccination, Thackeray mentioned that vaccines are only one method to control the virus along with the other techniques.
Maharashtra has reported more than 40,000 cases for two consecutive days. Mumbai has been reporting more than 8,500 cases for the last two days.
Civic officials in Pune declared a lockdown for one week in the city beginning April 3. While there will be a night curfew between 6am-6pm, restaurants, movie theatres, malls, bars, religious places, vegetable markets will not be allowed to function for seven days
With the state contributing to almost 50 per cent of the daily COVID-19 cases in the country, it is one of the 11 states of grave concern as observed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In a meeting held with the Chief Secretaries on April 2, the Cabinet Secretary has asked all the eleven states to strengthen their measures to reduce the burden of COVID-19.
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