MUMBAI: Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra have suddenly increased, from 6,200 a day a few days back, the count crossed the 10,000 mark on Wednesday. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has warned the district authorities not to rush to lift restrictions, as the third wave with the Delta Plus variant is spreading fast in some of the districts.
According to data from the state health department, when the unlock started on June 7, count of fresh cases for that day were 10,219. On June 18, the count was 9,798, and on June 19, it came down to 8,912. On June 21, it further went down to 6,270 cases, but the number jumped on June 22 with 8,470 cases, and on June 23, went up to 10,066.
The state has already reported 21 Delta Plus cases in Ratnagiri and Jalgaon districts. Chief Minister Thackeray has cautioned that the Covid-19 danger persists. “Based on scientific data, the state government has facilitated the availability of oxygen beds. Local authorities should not be in a hurry to announce unlock measures,” Thackeray warned.
Government sources said seven districts are a cause for concern — three each in the western and Konkan areas and one in the Marathwada region. Dr Sanjay Oak, chairman of Maharashtra health task force, said testing should be stepped up in these districts. He said that the focus should again be on 4 Ts — testing, tracing, tracking and treatment.
“Vaccination should be also ramped up. Small containment areas should be clearly marked,” said Dr Oak.
“Maharashtra has set a target of producing 3,000 metric tonnes of oxygen against the current production of 1,300 metric tonnes per day. The state government has decided to encourage various companies to produce oxygen at a large scale,” Thackeray added.
The Chief Minister has asked the local authorities to speed up preparations for the third wave and be ready to tackle it as and when it comes. “We are yet to find out how lethal the new Delta variant is. Experts have warned that the latest Covid version is deadlier than the first and second variants. Therefore, people of the state need to be more careful and authorities in all the distrcits should be prepared to tackle it,” Thackeray said.