'If Covid-19 cases keep rising..,' Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on future action
As Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic across India, state health minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday that the government is increasing testing, tracking and tracing of cases and will also increase the number of vaccination centres in the state.
“Today, there is no shortage of beds, medicines, and doctors. If the number of cases keeps rising,then, we’ll have to take a decision,” Tope was quoted as saying by new agency ANI.
With the overall Covid-19 situation worsening in Maharashtra since February 10, Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered officials to come up with lockdown-like restrictions which will have less impact on the state’s economy. A night curfew has already been imposed by the government from March 28 across all districts and cities from till April 15 from 8pm-7am.
As deliberations on a second round of restrictions are going on, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is a part of the MVA government, said on Monday that Maharashtra cannot afford another lockdown. Speaking to ANI, NCP leader and state minority minister Nawab Malik said that the NCP has asked Thackeray to consider other options. He added that a lockdown can be avoided if people follow rules. To this, state government officials said that there will not be a complete shutdown but stricter restrictions will be imposed in a phased manner starting from the coming weekend.
Maharashtra on Tuesday witnessed a slight dip in its daily Covid tally with 27,918 cases registered in the last 24 hours, taking the caseload to 2,773,436, according to the state health department’s bulletin. This is the first time that cases went below the 30,000-mark after six consecutive days. The low Covid-19 case count on Tuesday can be attributed to fewer tests carried out on Monday due to a public holiday on the occasion of Holi. Only 129,876 people were tested for Covid-19 on Monday compared to 136,848 tests conducted on Sunday.
As many as 139 people succumbed to the disease while 23,820 recovered on Tuesday. The death toll and total discharges in the western state currently stand at 54,422 and 2,377,127 respectively while the active have climbed to 340,542, the bulletin added.
The Union health ministry said on Wednesday that Maharashtra along with seven other states- Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh, contributed 84.73 per cent of the new cases recorded in India in the last 24 hours. Addressing a press briefing on Tuesday, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan pointed out that 10 districts- 8 belonging to Maharashtra, have the highest number of active cases across the nation.