In view of the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has instructed to impose a night curfew in the entire state from March 28, 2021 and enforce strict measures to curb the virus and implement them effectively. He also said that separate orders in this regard should be issued by the Relief and Rehabilitation Department.
The CM interacted with all the Divisional Commissioners, District Collectors, Municipal Commissioners, Superintendents of Police, Civil Surgeons of District Government Hospitals, District and State Task Force members, and superintendents of medical colleges. Present on the occasion were Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh, Former Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant, Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister Ashish Kumar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary of Home Department Manukumar Srivastava, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Vikas Kharge, Principal Secretary of Health Department Pradeep Vyas, Medical Education Secretary Saurabh Vijay, Chief Minister’s Secretary Abasaheb Jarhad, Relief and Rehabilitation Secretary Asim Gupta, Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, Director of Medical Education Tatyarao Lahane and Other senior officials.
Don’t Want to Impose Lockdown, But…
The CM said, “I have no intention of imposing a lockdown, but given the growing number of patients, there is a possibility that the health facilities may fall short given the rise in the number of patients,” He also instructed each district to focus on the availability of health facilities, beds and medicines and the need to increase them.
The Danger has not been Averted but Increased
Speaking about a potential second wave, the CM said, “After a second wave in a country like Britain, they are now slowly reopening after a two-and-a-half-month lockdown. The same situation is happening in Maharashtra now. The danger has not been averted. On the contrary, the public needs to realize that it has increased.
“The number of patients is increasing rapidly, and it is not possible to say how much more it will increase in the coming period. In such a case, there is a need to consider strict measures.” He also instructed the district collector to apply lockdown if there is a need in the district where the number of patients is increasing rapidly, but do not apply it suddenly.
Indications of Strict Lockdown Measures
“I am appealing to the people to realize that if they do not follow the guidelines, we unwillingly will have to impose stricter restrictions in the near future” the Chief Minister said. Adding, he said that we should increase the number of beds, health facilities but also increase the number of doctors, nurses, and health workers.
Instructions for Private Establishments
The state government has issued guidelines to private establishments regarding changes in attendance of their employees as well as office hours. They are instructed to be strictly monitored for compliance and strict action should be taken against them if the SOPs imposed on them are not implemented in crowded places like malls, bars, hotels, cinemas. The Chief Minister also directed the malls to be closed from 8 pm to 7 am to ensure that they are not crowded and to observe restrictions on socio-political and cultural events.
Level-Up the Vaccination
Another important issue discussed was to accelerate the pace of vaccination. Although the state is number one in the country in terms of immunization programs today, the CM said that the program should be implemented more effectively. In addition, he said that we have increased the number of tests in the state. 50,000 swabs are being collected daily in Mumbai. Increase the number of tests in the entire state.
Equip Better for Safety
The fire safety of the temporary hospital buildings and premises started for the treatment of Covid-19 patients should be checked and appropriate action should be taken regarding the supply of medicines, hospital facilities, oxygen storage and supply. He also suggested increasing the number of ventilators, Intensive Care Units, and oxygen beds.
Demand for More Vaccines from Center: Amit Deshmukh
Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh spoke about speeding up the vaccination process. He said the state should ask the Center to make the vaccine available in large numbers and also expressed the need for timely delivery of oxygen to ensure a smooth supply.
He said that vaccination of teachers and professors should be completed before the commencement of schools and colleges, and those working in the transport system should also be vaccinated.
As the number of patients is increasing in rural areas of the state, the number of oxygen, beds, should be increased in cities like Mumbai and Pune where the number of patients is increasing. As many as 52 lakh people have been vaccinated in the state and the state is currently number one in the country in terms of immunization.