Maharashtra may extend lockdown beyond May 15

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 11, 2021

Conditions laid out in the lockdown will not be immediately relaxed: Health Minister

The Maharashtra Government has imposed a lockdown in the state to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The lockdown is expected to be extended for a few more days after May 15. A decision on this important issue is expected to be taken in the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, said State Health Minister Rajesh Tope.

Tope interacting with media persons on Tuesday said that the Cabinet can only decide on the lockdown. The conditions laid out in the lockdown will not be immediately relaxed. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will take the right decision in this regard.

In the state, 1.84 crore vaccinations have been carried out. The state government is required to be given a second dosage to persons above 45 years of age. Therefore, 3 lakh doses purchased by the state government could be given to this age group, he said.

In one of his earlier press conferences, Tope had indicated that if the Centre does not provide vaccines for the age group above 45 years then it would be forced to use the stock meant for the age group between 18 and 44.

A slowdown in vaccination for 18 to 44 age groups.

He said that the state had announced free vaccination for people between 18 and 44 age groups. But stocks of vaccines are scarce. For those above 45 age group who have not been given the second dose, the first dose may become infective. Therefore, the stock of vaccine 18 to 44 age group may have to be diverted to the 45 years plus age group. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has been updated about this situation. The State Task Force will be consulted and the decision of diverting the stock will be taken in the Cabinet meeting. Therefore, the pace of vaccination for the 18 to 44 year age group will be slow for a few days, he said.

Some Covid patients have also been infected with mucormycosis (rare fungal infection). Treatment for such patients will be provided free of cost at the government hospital under Mahatma Phule Janaarogya Yojana. The state government will bear the cost of the medicine, Tope said.

A global tender has been drawn for Remdesivir injection and six companies have shown interest in supplying the injections. Every company will have to provide at least 50,000 injections, he said.

He added that it is difficult to draw up a global tender for vaccines. Because it requires the permission of from the Centre. Maharashtra Government has sought permission for such imports.


Published on May 11, 2021

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