Uddhav Wants Lockdown in Maharashtra, Task Force Agrees. What Transpired in The Crucial Meet

Vinaya Deshpande
·2-min read

A lockdown may be imminent in Maharashtra, but the word itself may be avoided to cause panic, sources told CNN-News18 after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s crucial meeting with the state’s Covid task force amid an exponential rise in virus cases and deaths.

A detailed discussion on medical facilities, and management of hospitals amid the crisis was carried out, the sources said. As cases spiral in Maharashtra, its healthcare services have been stretched and various hospitals have reported shortage of medical necessities such as oxygen, or ventilators.

Covid-19, which acts as a deadly respiratory disease in its most serious cases, often causes a patient’s oxygen levels to drop, making the supply a necessity in said cases.

The improvement of medical facilities and optimum use of available medical infrastructure were discussed in great detail, the sources added. Coordination at a Centre-state level to control the surging infections, was also discussed by the officials.

Thackeray took suggestions from the task force for the optimisation of available resources in the state, while working to increase these during a suggested lockdown for a limited period.

The Chief Minister asked the state’s administrative machinery to urgently increase medical facilities and oxygen supply after stricter rules are implemented in the state.

However, a decision on the lockdown was not finalised in the meeting. While some in attendance felt a lockdown was essential to curb cases, others wanted to avoid the usage of the word ‘lockdown’ to prevent panic among people. Sources told CNN-News18 that an announcement in the matter may come within one or two days.

The Chief Minister will hold a meeting with bureaucrats on Sunday night, to finalise the Covid standard of proceedures, the sources said.

Thackeray will meet with the Covid task force on Monday at 11 am again, while a meeting of the state’s cabinet is scheduled for Wednesday. The CM is likely to take a major decision following the meetings, according to Health Minister Rajesh Tope.

The CM’s office said that all-encompassing SOPs will be formulated for the state.

Meanwhile, Thackeray is also set to re-ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an increase in the supply of vaccines to Maharashtra. He had earlier written a letter to the PM, asking for an increase in the supply of the jabs.

The BMC on Friday had stopped vaccination at private centres in Mumbai till Monday due to a shortage of vaccines. Inoculation at government centres is ongoing.

However, the Centre has maintained that there is no shortage of vaccines in the country. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had recently slammed Thackeray’s claims, alleging that the CM was indulging in petty politicking, and trying to mask his ‘incompetent’ handling of the Covid crisis.

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