Updated: September 2, 2021 8:08:40 am
The state Cabinet on Wednesday decided not to impose any restriction in view of the upcoming festivals but to focus on speeding up the drive to vaccinate people and ramp up infrastructure as part of its preparation for a possible third wave of Covid-19.
Sources said the ministers were shown a presentation on the existing Covid-19 situation and on the new variant C.1.2 at the meeting.
The ministers discussed the precautions to be taken during the festivals, how to avoid crowding, speeding up vaccination drive and ramping up infrastructure as part of its preparation for the third wave.
“The government is taking precautions to ensure that there is no rise in Covid-19 cases. But as of now, no decision has been taken to impose any new curbs,” Textile Minister Aslam Shaikh said after the meeting.
Last week, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had written to state Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte advising that Maharashtra should consider enforcing local restrictions for upcoming festivals and mass gatherings (Dahi Handi and Ganesh festival) in view of concerns that such events may turn into super-spreader programmes.
A Cabinet minister said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray spoke about the “Pune pattern” of the vaccination drive, as part of which people are being inoculated with local bodies tying up with industries to get vaccines from the corporate social responsibility funds.
“This can be implemented in other districts as well to speed up the vaccination drive. Also, despite the availability of doses, in some districts people are not coming forward for vaccination,” said the minister, adding that the CM stressed on the need to mobilise the people for vaccination.
Another minister said that Thackeray told his Cabinet colleagues to avoid any event with large gatherings this month and focus on ramping up infrastructure in districts. Attention should be given to storage of medical oxygen, medicines and others, the minister added.
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