‘Will impose lockdown only if…’: Maharashtra govt on rising Covid cases in state

  • Maharashtra on Wednesday reported a massive surge of 26,538 new Covid-19 cases, up from 18,466 on the preceding day. Moreover, the state reported 144 fresh Omicron cases that took its tally to 797.
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday that 90% of Covid-19 cases in the state are asymptomatic and among the rest, only one or two per cent need hospitalisation. (BACHCHAN KUMAR/HT PHOTO)(HT_PRINT)
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday that 90% of Covid-19 cases in the state are asymptomatic and among the rest, only one or two per cent need hospitalisation. (BACHCHAN KUMAR/HT PHOTO)(HT_PRINT)
Updated on Jan 06, 2022 02:28 PM IST
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Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Maharashtra health department on Thursday said that the state government will consider a lockdown or lockdown-like restrictions in the state only if medical oxygen demand goes beyond 800 metric tonnes a day or more than 40% of Covid-19 beds at hospitals are occupied.

Further, the department stated that the current spike in Covid-19 cases in the state may “peak in mid-February” and probably will “subside” by mid-March, according to news agency ANI.

Maharashtra on Wednesday witnessed a major surge in single-day Covid-19 case count after as many as 26,538 people tested positive for the virus, up from 18,466 on the preceding day. With this, the overall tally of the western state rose to 6757032, according to the health department bulletin.

Meanwhile, a total of 144 fresh Omicron cases were also reported during the same period of time, pushing the state's tally of the highly transmissible variant to 797. According to the Union health ministry's latest update, Maharashtra remains the most-hit state in the country by Omicron, ahead of Delhi that has so far detected 465 cases.

Of all the cities and districts in the state, Mumbai tops the chart with the highest infection rate both due to Covid-19 and the particular Omicron variant of the virus. Notably, of the 144 new cases confirmed by Maharashtra on Wednesday, Mumbai accounted for 100 of them.

The state health department's statements come after Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday chaired a meeting to review the Covid-19 situation in the state, which was attended by health minister Rajesh Tope along with other senior government officers.

Following the meeting, Pawar said that the state government has no plans at the moment to impose a lockdown in the state. Later in the day, Tope echoed the deputy chief minister, but added that there is a requirement to impose curbs when there is crowding.

The Maharashtra health minister said that the silver lining that stays at present is that 90 per cent of the Covid-19 cases in the state are asymptomatic and among the rest, only one or two per cent need hospitalisation.

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