Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government is gearing up for a possible third COVID-19 wave. Recognizing its threat, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has already started taking steps to ensure that the required medicines, medical equipment and adequate stocks are available in rural areas, said Thackeray on Wednesday.
The Chief Minister was speaking at a meeting of doctors and senior officials of the COVID-19 task force. He feared that if the crowds increased and rules were not followed, Maharashtra would face a third wave in the next two months.
"At the time of the first wave we had a lack of facilities and then we began increasing it. The second wave also taught us a lot. The wave is receding and from the experience we have to focus on the necessary medicines, health facilities, beds, oxygen availability," said Thackeray.
The Chief Minister said that the country will receive 42 crore vaccines in August-September and Maharashtra will be benefited from it. He said that vaccination is an important part of the fight against COVID-19, however, he added it is important to follow the rules, wear a mask, and follow social distancing.
In the meeting, it was discussed in detail regarding the medicines that will be needed in the future, their procurement, provision of funds for the same, RTPCR kits, masks, PPE kits etc. Doctors from the task force stressed the need for strict adherence to COVID-19 restrictions, emphasizing the need for a statewide SERO survey and large-scale vaccination.
"The second wave doubled the number of patients in a very short period of time compared to the first wave. With the threat of a new Delta Plus variant, the number of patients in the state could double again if a third wave occurs. The first wave had 19 lakh patients, while the second wave had more than 40 lakh. The number of active patients could reach 8 lakh and the number of infected children could be around 10 per cent," the health department said in a presentation.
"In the first wave, September 17, 2020 had the highest number of 3,01,752 patients. On April 22, 2021, the highest number of patients in the second wave was 6,99,858. The highest death toll was 517 on September 13, 2020. The second wave saw a maximum of 1,110 people on April 26, 2021," it added.