Omicron Covid variant: Why Maharashtra is wary of lockdowns and restrictions

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 07, 2021
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Sources say the government is aware of the possibility of resentment among people against any restrictions on economic activities

Even as the number of Omicron patients in the State crosses double-digits, the State government is wary of imposing lockdowns or restrictions on the public as of now.

Industry bodies, business houses, traders and workers have demanded that the government not take any drastic step that will disturb the slowly recovering economy.

“Taxing” restrictions

State Health Minister Rajesh Tope, acknowledging the feelings of people, said that any restrictions would be “taxing” for people and the State government is keeping watch on the situation. He said that the government will not impose any restrictions or lockdowns and any such decision will be taken only after consultations with the union government, the State’s Covid-19 Task Force and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Tope said that people must strictly follow the Covid-19 appropriate behaviour norms as the Omicron variant is spreading fast.

Also see: Covid variant Omicron’s risk to monetary policy

State Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray has appealed to corporate houses in the State to conduct weekly RTPCR tests of their employees.

State government sources said that the government is aware of the groundswell of resentment among people against any move that would restrict economic activities. Opposition parties have also warned the State against any move that would affect the livelihood of the common people.

Field surveillance

The State Health Department has said that field surveillance of all international passengers who have arrived since November 1 in the State is underway. Through airport and field surveillance, 34 samples have been sent for genomic sequencing.

Also see: Amid Omicron Covid variant scare, over 100 foreign returnees in Maharashtra’s Thane district untraceable

“Genetic changes/mutation in viruses is a natural phenomenon and people should not panic. The Public Health Department appeals to the citizens that they follow Covid appropriate behaviour and inform the Public Health Department authorities if they have had an international travel history in the last month. Those who have not taken Covid-19 vaccine or have had only one dose should complete their vaccination at the earliest,” the Department said.

Published on December 07, 2021

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