Updated: June 25, 2021 7:57:07 am
Warning against rushing to relax restrictions, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday asked seven districts with higher Covid-19 infection rate to increase testing and vaccinations.
Thackeray held a virtual meeting with district collectors of Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Hingoli to review Covid-19 measures being taken in these districts.
While the state’s weekly patient growth rate (weekly Covid-19 growth rate) is 0.15 per cent, it has doubled or tripled in these seven districts, said officials.
At the meeting, Thackeray said the second wave still remains and precautions need to be taken. “Though different levels of restrictions have been set for districts, the local administration has to decide on curbs based on the actual situation, without taking any risk. Depending on the level (of unlock), if people are moving freely without following Covid-19 norms, then it may lead to crowding and an increase in cases. This will worsen the situation in the districts. So, study the infection and do not rush to relax restrictions,” he added.
He also instructed the state health department to plan for additional oxygen and ICU beds as well as field hospitals in all districts considering the possibility of a third wave and the threat from the delta plus variant of the virus. Thackeray said that the state has set up a target of producing 3,000 MT of oxygen.
“Buildings and land should be identified to create facilities like field hospitals. Also, while adequate supply of oxygen must be ensured in all districts, medicines and other essential medical equipment should be made available in rural areas,” he said.
Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte said emphasis would be given to large scale testing, tracing and vaccination and necessary facilities would be provided to the districts for the purpose.
The districts must implement containment measures more strictly in villages and small pockets, he added.
Dr Sanjay Oak and Dr Shashank Joshi, members of the state’s covid task force, while also suggesting that the number of tests being performed needs to be increased in all the seven districts, said that restrictions may also be required to be tightened.
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