Maharashtra Covid-19 situation better due to restraint shown by all, no need for stricter lockdown: CM Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said there was no need to impose a stricter coronavirus disease (Covid-19) lockdown as there was an improvement in the state's condition owing to the existing curbs. "We have been able to contain the spread of Covid-19 due to restrictions and lockdown. Our estimate was that there might be 10 lakh positive active patients till now, but there are 7 lakh such cases," CM Thackeray said.
The state's health infrastructure is also seeing an upgrade, Thackeray said, but there was a shortage of medical professionals. "We are ramping up the health infrastructure but where should we bring doctors and nurses from?" he said.
Further, he addressed the issue of shortage of oxygen. "We are facing a shortage of oxygen as we are using around 1700 metric tonnes while we produce only around 1200 metric tonnes. Around 500 metric tonnes of oxygen has been allocated by the Centre," CM Thackeray said.
Talking about imminent second wave of Covid-19 in state, he said, "The entire world is facing several waves of Covid-19 and the situation in Maharashtra will be no different, according to experts."
The state government is prepared for the Covid-19 waves to come, he said. "We have started our preparations for the same but we do not expect it to be a big wave," he added.
On vaccination, the CM said the state needed 12 crore doses of vaccines for its six crore population in the age group of 18 to 44. The state was ready to buy the entire stock in one go, he said. "But the vaccine stock is limited. Only a few firms are manufacturing the doses in our country but we are in talks with other firms. However, we will be getting only 18 lakh doses for the age group of 18-44 in May," he said.
Maharashtra on Thursday recorded 66,159 cases, pushing the total infection count to 4,539,553. The tally of active cases reduced to 670,301 as 68,537 recoveries were reported in the past 24 hours. As many as 771 new deaths were reported in the state, taking the toll to 67,985.
On Wednesday, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope had announced that the lockdown in state will be extended by another 15 days beyond April 30. "All members of the Maharastra Cabinet are of the opinion that current Covid-19 restrictions should be extended for the next 15 days," Tope said.