India: Maharashtra CM warns of lockdown if Covid cases rise

Uddhav Thackeray that wearing a mask was still the state’s best weapon against the coronavirus pandemic.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday warned that a lockdown shall be imposed if the state witnesses a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Addressing the people of the state through social media on Monday, Thackeray said that Maharashtra has made preparations ahead of the third wave of Covid-19.

He said that the state now has 600 testing labs, the number of isolation beds increased to more than 450,000, and there is the availability of 34,507 ICU beds and 110,683 oxygen beds. He also pointed out that the state presently has 13,500 ventilators.

Thackeray highlighted that 2 million people were affected in the first wave and 4 million people in the second wave. He said that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has started Genome Sequencing Lab.

Thackeray said about the state’s oxygen production limit, “The state’s oxygen production is still 1300 Meric Tonnes per day. Last time, during the second wave of coronavirus, we received 1700-1800 MT of oxygen per day. Even if we implement an oxygen self-sufficiency policy, there are immediate limitations to oxygen production. Other states are now seeing an increase in outbreaks. In case of an increase in the number of patients in the state, there will be a lockdown.”

He further stated that although relaxations in Covid restrictions have been allowed in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad, the infection is still on the rise in some districts of the state like Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Raigad, Kolhapur, Satara, Ahmednagar, Beed, Pune, Sangli.

“The people of Maharashtra have cooperated with the state government so far, which is why the Mumbai model of Maharashtra was appreciated all over the world. He also said that all the credit for this goes to the people of the state,” said Thackeray.

The Chief Minister further informed that 46,376,000 citizens have so far been vaccinated in the state. The number of citizens who took the first dose is 34,530,719 while the number of citizens who took the second dose is 11,846,107.

“The state has a huge vaccination capacity. We can vaccinate eight to ten lakh people a day, but given the limited availability of vaccines, the mask is our real protector today,” he added.

Meanwhile, as many as 45 cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 have been reported in Maharashtra till August 8, the state health department said on Sunday, a day when the state also reported 5,508 new coronavirus infections.

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