Monday, January 24, 2022

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Maharashtra rules out lockdown; Gives set of restrictions

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According to news agency ANI, Maharashtra’s Health Department confirmed Thursday morning that a Covid lockdown will not be announced at this time.

A lockdown, or a set of restrictions similar to a lockdown, will only be considered if medical oxygen demand exceeds 800 metric tonnes per day, or if more than 40% of hospital beds for Covid patients are occupied, according to the department.

Surge in Cases

The Health Department also predicted that the present rise of Covid cases will peak in mid-February and diminish in mid-March, with Additional Chief Secretary for Health Dr. Pradeep Vyas expecting a caseload of around two lakhs by the third week of February.

Earlier this week, Chief Minister Thackeray urged people to avoid large gatherings and to behave in a Covid-appropriate manner, which included wearing face masks in public.

Maharashtra reported 26,538 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours on Wednesday night, up 44% from the previous day, with the state capital Mumbai recording 15,166 cases, the largest in a single day since the pandemic began in December 2019.

Doctors infected in large scale

Hundreds of doctors in some of Mumbai’s largest hospitals have tested positive for the virus in the last few days, adding to growing alarm about a quickly expanding third wave of illnesses – driven in part by the highly transmissible Omicron form, of which Maharashtra has 797.

The virus has infected over 150 doctors at the city’s King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital, as well as another 80 at the Sion Hospital and nearly as many at other hospitals. According to the Association of Resident Doctors, around 260 people have tested positive in Maharashtra so far.

According to a report by ANI, 60 employees of the city’s public transit system tested positive as well.

Guidelines by Government

All overseas travellers landing in Mumbai must have an RT-PCR test, according to new instructions announced Tuesday night. Those who test negative are required to stay at home for a week. Those who test positive will be moved to a ‘private facility’ or institutional quarantine (a hospital) (a hotel).

The state administration has already proposed new limits, such as a 50-person limit for open or closed-space gatherings, with 200 more allowed for weddings.

All schools and institutions in the state have been closed until February 15, according to Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant, who spoke to ANI yesterday. Exams will be conducted entirely online.

Over 90,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in India this morning.

“Even if a tsunami strikes, we must be prepared”

Kishori Pednekar, the mayor of Mumbai, in a report by NDTV this week told that the city is prepared for a “tsunami” of cases.

“We followed the recommendations of the World Health Organization. We have ‘jumbo’ quarantine centres… the city and Maharashtra will do everything possible to keep the disease from spreading. Even if a tsunami strikes, we must be prepared.”



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