MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government issued fresh guidelines on Friday, warning local authorities not to ease restrictions immediately, following fears of a possible third wave and the spread of the Delta Plus variant.
State chief secretary Sitaram Kunte, while issuing new guidelines, said the threat of the pandemic persists as deadlier variants are being reported. The state has so far reported 21 Delta Plus cases - nine in Ratnagiri and the rest from Jalgaon, Palghar and other districts.
"We need to impose stringent restrictions to curb the spread," he said, adding that given the mutations in the virus and its ongoing evolution, it is likely that more serious situations will arise in the near future.
The order said that while easing restrictions, weekly positivity index and percentage of oxygen-powered beds should be considered. "Weekly positivity rate should be determined on the basis of RT-PCR tests only," read the order.
Local administrations have been told to accelerate vaccination through public awareness activities. "Every effort should be made to complete the vaccination of at least 70 per cent of the eligible people as soon as possible. Besides, test-track-treat method should be adopted as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID," he added.