Covid-19: No lockdown in India's Maharashtra state for now

State continues to top the Omicron count in country with 653 cases



AFP
AFP
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 5 Jan 2022, 3:14 PM

The Maharashtra government has ruled out plans for imposing a total lockdown at present to tackle the spike in Covid-19 infections in recent days.

The state continues to top the Omicron count in India with 653 cases on Wednesday, of which 259 have been discharged.

“We are not going to use the vocabulary of a ‘lockdown’ right now and there is no pressing need of it as well,” Rajesh Tope, the state health minister, said at a news conference on Wednesday.

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“A lockdown means totally shutting off all activities which we are not going to do. However, the challenge at the moment is to make sure that the restrictions already announced be implemented properly.”

But if cases continue to soar, the government may decide to curtail non-essential activities. The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the state cabinet in Mumbai, which was chaired by Ajit Pawar, the deputy chief minister.

The minister pointed out that there was a spurt in new Covid-19 infections in the state – which have shot up from just 7,000 about 15 days ago to 66,000 now – indicating a community spread in the third wave of the pandemic. But fortunately, most of the Omicron variant cases were mild and patients did not need oxygen.

The daily case surge would top 25,000 on Wednesday, but 90 per cent of the new infections are either asymptomatic or mild. Consequently, the government is laying stress on home quarantine.

The state was also geared to tackle the ongoing Covid wave in terms of oxygen supplies and there was no need to depend on other states, said Tope.


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