Maharashtra CM speaks to Collectors of 7 districts of continued concern in COVID-19 cases
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday asked District Collectors to not rush to lift COVID-19 restrictions in their respective areas and take steps to unlock only after a detailed study of the situation.
“We have yet not come out of second wave of the pandemic and the third wave may hit us all soon. Even though we have given rights to the local administration to decide on unlocking, any decision should be taken without compromising safety,” Mr. Thackeray said in his meeting with the District Collectors of Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Hingoli. These seven districts continue to show higher test positivity rate and increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Referring to the five levels set by the State government in taking a call on unlocking, Mr. Thackeray said that if people were going to use these levels as an excuse to go out and crowd market places, it would lead to an increase in the number of infections. “Do not rush to unlock. We have taken a hard hit in the second wave, especially due to shortage of oxygen. Do make the necessary arrangements for the same, as well as medical equipment in urban and rural areas,” Mr. Thackeray said.
State Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte said that the seven districts could turn out to be a reason for worry for the entire State, and it was important to increase the number of tests and improve contact tracing.
Later in the day, Mr. Thackeray also held a meeting with representatives of medical oxygen production companies, setting a target to produce 3,000 MT oxygen every day. “Presently, we produce 1,300 MT oxygen and that has to be increased to 3,000 MT. Similarly, efforts need to be taken to enhance storage capacity. Steps have to be taken to ensure oxygen is delivered to remote areas as well,” he said.