Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the number of COVID 19 positive patients increased to 5,348 on Thursday against 3,900 on Wednesday adding that the rise in cases is a matter of concern.
‘’There was a unanimous view at the Task Force meeting that the government will have to quickly make a decision to curb virus spread and infection. The Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will take a final decision on more restrictions,’’ he noted.
Meanwhile, he also added that there will be no closure of schools from 1st to 12th standards. Vaccination of children from the age group of 15-18 years will be conducted in batches at vaccination centres and not in schools, he added.
Tope, after attending the Task Force meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, said there was also unanimity over banning the gatherings in closed halls and also the social, religious and political as they may lead to further spread of the virus infection.
The minister said that it was decided that the testing laboratories should use special kits to do Omicron tests to reveal the cause of infection whether by Delta variant or by Omicron variant. Thereafter, the doctors can decide the treatment for the patients.
‘’It was also decided that the government will cap the rate of Molnupiravir drug approved by the Government of India and the Task Force to treat Omicron variant affected people. The hospitals will have to keep a proper stock. It was emphasized that there should be proper rationing and regulation of the supply of Monupiravir drug,’’ said Tope.
The minister said the government will focus on testing, treatment and vaccination. ‘’The vaccination of children from the age group of 15-18 years will be carried out in batches so that the children can go in batches to the vaccination centers instead of vaccination to be done in schools or colleges. It was decided that there was no need to immediately close down the schools. It will be the government's attempt to complete the vaccination of children from the 15-18 years age group in a targeted period,’’ said Tope.
According to the minister, CM and Task Force pitched for increasing the pace of vaccination especially in districts whose vaccination rate is low compared to the state average. He said that the CM will soon chair a meeting with the concerned district collectors to discuss challenges and the strategy to increase the pace of vaccination in a targeted time period.
Tope said that the positivity rate in Mumbai is almost 8% while it is between 4% and 5% in Pune, Thane, Nashik and Raigad. ‘’It was observed that high positivity rate is an indication of community spread but it was decided to collect more information to decide the action plan after talking to epidemiologists,’’ he added.
Tope urged the citizens not to gather in large numbers on December 31 and January 1 but strictly follow the Covid appropriate behaviour. He wished a corona-free 2022 to everyone.
ALSO READWe talk about Hindus being persecuted in Pakistan & Afghanistan but are mum on their deplorable fate...
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)