'Remove curbs totally or impose strict lockdown in Maharashtra': Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope's proposal to CM Uddhav Thackeray

· Daily caseload of 8,000-9,000

· Positivity rates continue to be high in Kolhapur (10.24%), Satara (9.14%), Sangli (8.81%), Raigad (7.88%), Pune (7.68%), Ratnagiri (7.29%), Sindhudurg (6.55%), Palghar (5.26%) and Buldana (4.57%).

· Infections have started rising in Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli and Pune after July 3

Either completely ease restrictions or impose a strict lockdown in Maharashtra, Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope has urged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. In a video conference, Tope asked Thackeray to take an early decision on the subject, especially since there is a fall in Covid cases currently and the second wave is receding and there is the possibility of a third wave. There is growing demand from various sections for further relaxation in curbs, Tope said.

“I had a detailed discussion with the CM on the present state of the pandemic and the lockdown, especially after the Level 3 restrictions became the base level in all districts. I have appealed to the CM to either lift the restrictions totally, in order to provide relief to the people or tighten the lockdown,” said Tope. He noted that the Centre has expressed concern over the number of Covid-19 cases in the state. “Therefore, the CM will take a final decision after taking into account all these factors,” he added.

“The second wave of corona is still having an impact on the country and in Maharashtra. Although the outbreak of corona continues in western Maharashtra, the number of new cases has come down in other parts of the state. However, the general public is suffering because restrictions have not been completely relaxed,’’ said Tope. “Therefore, either these restrictions should be lifted completely and the general public should be relieved or a complete and strict lockdown should be imposed, which I have proposed,” he added.

On Sunday, 8,535 new COVID 19 cases and 156 deaths were reported in Maharashtra. There are 1,16,165 active cases while progressive deaths were reported at 1,25,878. The daily caseload is in the range of 8,000 to 9,500.

Of the 36 districts, in Kolhapur (10.24 per cent), Satara (9.14 per cent), Sangli (8.81 per cent), Raigad (7.88 per cent), Pune (7.68 per cent), Ratnagiri (7.29 per cent), Sindhudurg (6.55 per cent), Palghar (5.26 per cent) and Buldana (4.57 per cent) high positivity rates prevail. More importantly, the pace of infections has started rising in Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli and Pune, after July 3.

The state’s Covid taskforce has, however, expressed worry over the high positivity rate in eight districts and the slow decline in the number of patients during the second wave in the state. It has suggested to the state government not to be in haste to take a decision on the relaxation of the present restrictions or reopening schools, especially in the backdrop of the threat of Delta-plus variant and the possible third wave.

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