Why Maha Desperately Needs a Lockdown And How Team Uddhav Plans To Handle Its Covid Crisis

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said stricter rules may have to be imposed for at least a while to stop the second wave of coronavirus, signalling the announcement of a lockdown soon in the state.

Thackeray had chaired a meeting with the state’s Covid task force on Sunday evening, in which the improvement of medical facilities and optimum use of available medical infrastructure was discussed in great detail.

After the meeting, the CM said that the “carelessness” of many asymptomatic patients was putting others at risk, especially those who have been diligently following Covid protocol. He said the opinion among the “careful” people was that the state should have a lockdown to control the situation.

The Covid standard of proceedures for the state, with stricter restrictions than the ones currently in place, will be formulated after discussion with senior officials, the CM said.

The CM said the Maharashtra government was likely to speak with Gujarat, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh to get excessive oxygen supply amid a shortage.

As cases spiral in the state, stretching healthcare services, the Covid task force wants the excessive and unnecessary use of remdesivir – an antiviral drug used to treat the disease – to be stopped immediately.

The task force has also said that 95% of the patients can recover in home isolation itself, and that only serious cases needed hospital care.

It also said that social awareness about the crisis needed to increase, and that housing societies should arrange to make isolation wards with oxygen containers.

The task force force also wants Covid bed management to be carried out through ward war rooms like the Mumbai municipal corporation.

Patients should be made to undergo six minute walk tests before the doctors can take a call on hospitalisation, the experts said, adding that as young patients had also begun to require ventilators, the planning for the equipment be done in a better manner.

Out of the 12,00 metric ton of oxygen available in the state, 980 ton is being used for medical purposes in the state.

Maharashtra has reported 4,00,000 new patients within a week between April 4 to April 10. A total of 1982 people have died during this period. The fatality rate is at 0.5% and is rising.

Meanwhile, government sources told CNN-News18 that Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray is in talks with the Chief Secretary and others, regarding fresh SOPs to be issued for the state.

The CM has informed the Chief Secretary that 11-12 districts in the state are facing a shortage of beds.

Government sources state that the Chief Secretary has informed Thackeray that oxygen supply too is fast depleting in the state. There are also no beds in 11-12 districts and 75% of the ICU beds are full across the state.

With inputs from Herman Gomes

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