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Covid ‘under control’, ready to tackle further spread of Omicron: Maharashtra govt tells HC

Responding to PILs alleging improper pandemic management, the state government’s counsel said 90% of the state’s population has received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
January 28, 2022 6:01:17 pm
The counsel for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) also reiterated that the Covid-19 situation under its area is “under 100% control”. (Representational)

The Maharashtra government, while responding to PILs alleging improper pandemic management, told the Bombay High Court on Friday that the Covid-19 situation in the state is “fully under control” and “the government is geared to meet any eventuality arising out of further spread of Omicron variant.”

The counsel for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) also reiterated that the Covid-19 situation under its area is “under 100% control” as the positivity is going down and the government is also taking steps towards “reopening”.

The court referred to the opinions of experts and said that while the Omicron variant was “less lethal” than other variants including Delta, “it spreads fast” which requires it to be controlled by the authorities and said that it would take stock of the situation during the next hearing.

The state and civic authorities made the submissions before a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik, which has been hearing PILs by city-based lawyer Sneha Marjadi and others alleging improper management of Covid-19 in Maharashtra.

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Senior advocate Anil Sakhare for the BMC submitted its third note which stated that as on January 25, out of 21,142 active cases, only 16% patients were admitted in hospitals, 7% were on oxygen beds, 4% were in the ICU and 3% on ventilators.

The civic body said that over the last few months, many persons have been doing Covid self-testing with the help of ICMR-approved home testing kits and till January 26, a total 1,36,168 such tests were carried out, out of which 4,583 were detected positive.

Sakhare added that 1.71 lakh persons have received a booster dose till January 25 in Mumbai, while the positivity rate has reduced to 5.25% and the trend is declining further. Therefore, “the situation is under 100% control” of the civic body.

Moreover, government pleader for the state Purnima H Kantharia submitted a brief note pertaining to Covid-19 management which stated that a total of 2,074 patients infected with the Omicron variant were found in Maharashtra from January 14 to 19 and 1,091 were discharged after a negative RT-PCR test on January 19.

The state added that as of January 19, a total of 4,64,581 persons have received the booster or precautionary dose and 27,64,537 children between the age of 15 and 18 have received their first dose of the Covid vaccine. It said 64.55% of the state’s population has received both doses of the vaccine and 90.26% have received at least the first dose.

Kantharia said the Covid situation in the state is “fully under control” as the positivity rate is nearly 10% and the government is prepared to face any situation arising out of further spread of the Omicron variant.

The court directed the petitioners to give their suggestions to the authorities by Wednesday and posted the hearing to February 4.

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