The Maharashtra government is closely monitoring the prevailing coronavirus situation and any decision on reimposing restrictions in the state will be taken only after seeking the Centre's guidance and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's views, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Monday amid rising concern over detection of cases linked to the new variant Omicron.
Speaking to reporters here, Tope said imposing restrictions on the activities allowed in the state at present will be too inconvenient for the people.
It will be too inconvenient for the people if restrictions are imposed on the activities currently allowed. Hence, we will keep a tab on the situation and take a call (on curbs) following the guidance of the Centre and the (state Covid-19) task force and based on the views of the chief minister, he said. Tope said schools which have not reopened yet should start in-person classes and pitched for observing Covid-19-appropriate behaviour in daily life.
The minister said the state government is focusing on vaccinating people while facing the situation caused by Omicron, a new coronavirus variant which is causing worries all over the world. Rallies, marriages and political meetings are being held on a big scale. If Covid-19-appropriate behaviour is not observed there properly, then it leads to the possibility of spread of the infection.
And Omicron can spread fast and hence, I think it is the need of the hour to implement the rules strictly, he added. So far, eight persons have tested positive for the Omicron variant of coronavirus in Maharashtra.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified Omicron, detected in South Africa and some other countries recently, as a 'Variant of Concern'.Health experts have expressed possibilities that owing to the genetic modification in the virus, it may possess some specific characteristics.