Facing a massive surge in Covid-19 cases, the next 48 hours are crucial in Maharashtra as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday warned of a full lockdown if people did not limit their movement. Thackeray said that people were not taking necessary precautions such as wearing masks or avoiding unnecessary travel. “The situation in the state is worrying. If it continues, our health infrastructure will be inadequate in the next 15-20 days,” he said.
Maharashtra on Friday recorded 47,827 new COVID-19 cases, its highest daily rise since the coronavirus pandemic began last year. It took the state’s caseload to 29,04,076, a Health Department statement said.
Takeaways from CM Thackeray’s press conference on Friday
– The Maharashtra Chief Minister said that the state government “cannot rule out imposing a lockdown” if the current COVID-19 situation prevails.
– Thackeray expressed disappointment over the non-chalance of people towards the Covid-19 guidelines in place. “People have become complacent. In a couple of days, strict restrictions will be issued to curb COVID-19,” he said.
– India’s richest and home to the crowded financial capital Mumbai has been hit hard by the virus, while the country as a whole has now recorded 12.3 million cases, including 81,466 new infections registered on Friday, health ministry data showed. “Consider this a warning that I could impose a complete lockdown in the next couple of days if things remain the same,” Thackeray said in a televised address.
– The new figure took the state tally of positive cases to 29,04,076, the state government said. As many as 202 coronavirus patients died in the state on Friday, taking the death toll to 55,379.
– Besides, Thackeray, in his speech, addressed criticism against the state’s testing and vaccination numbers and said that Maharashtra’s testing capacity has grown by a large margin since the pandemic first broke out last year.
– “In the coming days, we aim to conduct 2.5 lakh RT-PCR tests daily,” he said. He added that Maharashtra was the only state that had administered three lakh doses of vaccine on Thursday.
– “Till now, we have administered 65 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses, including three lakh vaccine doses yesterday. Even after vaccination, some people are getting infected because they stop wearing masks,” CM Thackeray said.
– Drawing attention to the crisis, Thackeray said that the current wave of Covdi-19 infections is like a “storm” and the vaccine an “umbrella”. “This umbrella (vaccine) will keep us safe from the rain, but currently we are facing a storm (pandemic). We need to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocol like wearing masks, maintaining distance, and washing hands,” he said.
– CM Thackeray spoke about the pandemic in terms of numbers. He said that Mumbai alone had seen a jump in daily COVID-19 cases from 300 to 8,500 cases in one month.
– “If the situation remains the same, healthcare facilities will start getting overburdened in 15-20 days. In some districts, hospitals are almost full,” he said.
– “Some people are indulging in politics over the matter. They are saying that the government must increase the healthcare facilities and capacity. I have given instructions on these lines, but can they tell me how to increase the healthcare staff? From where to get doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, ASHA workers, etc?” he questioned.