On March 28, Maharashtra clocked 40,414 new Covid-19 cases. The alarming situation in the state pushed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to ask Sitaram Kunte, Chief Secretary, to immediately prepare a plan for a lockdown as a last resort to control the situation.
Thackeray showed concern over the rising number during the meeting and said, “The government was trying hard to keep the economy afloat amid the pandemic. However, several factors are not being considered seriously.” Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope was also present at the meeting.
CM said that the health of the people is the government’s top priority. “Hence, the chief secretary should plan a lockdown strategy to ensure that the supply of essential commodities, including food grain and medicines, and health services, are not hampered. This is what we have to do if people are not following the (Covid) norms,” he added.
Maharashtra lockdown plan: Businesses not following 50% attendance norm
During the meeting, CM Thackeray said that the state had restricted business establishments to allow only 50% of the employees to come to the office. However, the norm is not being followed in private establishments. He further added that citizens are not following the precautions. Thus, the state has to take the necessary steps. He said that citizens are not wearing masks, marriage halls are packed beyond the permitted number of guests, and social distancing norms are not being followed.
Death of Covid patients due to lack of oxygen
As per reports, at least seven patients have died in Nagpur (4) and Dhule (3) due to an alleged shortage of oxygen in hospitals. The hospitals in Nagpur are in desperate need of critical supplies, especially medical oxygen, as the demand has increased five-fold due to a surge in critical patients. Following the death of three patients, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has issued a show-cause notice to the hospital and initiated an inquiry. The other twenty patients have been shifted to other hospitals.
Alarming spike in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra
In the last 15 days, the number of cases has risen at an alarming pace in the state of Maharashtra. Over 3.9 lakh people were tested positive during that period. Mumbai clocked 6,933 cases in a single day on Sunday, making it the highest ever tally recorded in the state.
Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the task force to curb the rising number, said that lockdown would be the last resort. He said, “Lockdown is the last resort, but we have to consider it because the healthcare infrastructure is crumbling. There are no beds available in the private sector and public-sector beds, too, are filling fast.”
Maharashtra stands at the top as the most-affected state in the country. As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, nearly 27,13,875 cases have been reported from the state, with more than 3,25,901 active cases. The state has reported 54,181 Covid-19 deaths. On Sunday, 40,414 cases were reported in Maharashtra. 108 people died due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the last 24 hours.