Will Consider Lockdown if Oxygen Demand Goes Beyond 800 Metric Tonnes a Day: Maharashtra Govt

Maharashtra government will consider a lockdown or lockdown-like restrictions after medical oxygen demand for the state goes beyond 800 metric tonnes per day or more than 40% of Covid beds in hospitals are occupied.

Updated: January 6, 2022 1:19 PM IST

By India.com News Desk | Edited by Rajashree Seal

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that 100 per cent lockdown is not required as of now, but stressed the need to impose restrictions wherever there is crowding.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that 100 per cent lockdown is not required as of now, but stressed the need to impose restrictions wherever there is crowding.

Mumbai: Amid speculations that Maharashtra might impose a lockdown or adhere to strict lockdown-like restrictions, the state’s health department on Thursday said that it is not considering any lockdown as of now. Speaking to the media, it said, “No consideration of lockdown as of now. Maharashtra government will consider a lockdown or lockdown-like restrictions after medical oxygen demand for the state goes beyond 800 metric tonnes/ day or more than 40% of Covid beds in hospitals are occupied.”

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The state’s health department further informed that the current surge in COVID-19 cases may take a peak in mid-February and may subside by mid-March. The Maharashtra Health Department’s statement comes a day after the state reported 26,538 fresh coronavirus positive cases on Wednesday (January 05), including 15,166 in Mumbai, the highest-ever daily count in the metropolis, and eight fatalities.

Compared with Tuesday, the fresh cases in Maharashtra rose by 43.71 per cent or 8,072 in absolute numbers on Wednesday. With these additions, the state’s COVID-19 tally rose to 67,57,032, while the death toll increased to 1,41,581, it said. Mumbai’s overall coronavirus infection count jumped to 8,33,628, while the death toll increased to 16,384, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in a bulletin.

Earlier yesterday, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that 100 per cent lockdown is not required as of now, but stressed the need to impose restrictions wherever there is crowding. The state government also decided to shut all non-agricultural, autonomous universities, technical and affiliated colleges in Maharashtra till February 15, said Minister Uday Samant. The minister of higher and technical education said classes will continue online and examinations of all these universities and affiliated colleges will also be conducted online during this period. Schools for Classes 1 to 8 in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, and some adjoining areas have already been shut for physical classes in light of the surge in coronavirus cases.

Maharashtra also recorded 144 new cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, including 100 from Mumbai, taking their cumulative tally to 797 so far, the department said. Of the 144 Omicron cases, 100 cases are from Mumbai, 11 from Nagpur, 7 each from Thane city and Pune city, 6 from Pimpri-Chinchwad, 5 from Kolhapur, 2 each from Amravati, Ulhasnagar and Bhiwandi-Nizampur, and one each from Panvel and Osmanabad, it said.

As COVID-19 cases are rising significantly, Tope said the silver lining is that 90 per cent of the cases are asymptomatic. Of the 10 per cent symptomatic patients, only one to two per cent require hospitalisation. The Task Force has used the term augmented restrictions, which means if the cases rise like this…we don’t have to use the term lockdown. A hundred per cent lockdown is not certainly required as of today, the minister told reporters.

He said augmented restrictions mean that non-essential activities have to be stopped. Wherever crowding takes place, there have to be restrictions, but it is not the case that it (curbs) should be brought today, Tope added. The minister strongly emphasised on ramping up the vaccination against COVID-19 and focusing on those who have not taken the jabs and third dose for frontline workers.

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Published Date: January 6, 2022 1:17 PM IST

Updated Date: January 6, 2022 1:19 PM IST