Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a meeting with the COVID-19 task force on Sunday, discussed the availability of oxygen and beds, use of Remdesivir, treatment protocols, increase in capacity of facilities, and imposition of restrictions and fines for violating COVID protocols.
Uddhav said that the government has increased facilities, increased tests, and created awareness among the people to follow COVID-19 norms. "We have taken action on a number of issues such as making changes in office hours, emphasizing work from home, deciding on the peak hours for suburban railways in Mumbai," he said.
"The number of patients is increasing rapidly. Individuals without symptoms are more likely to spread the infection," Uddhav said. He added that those who are following the health norms are at risk due to the negligence of the people who are not following them. The Chief Minister further said that lockdown is only an option to curb the current spread of the infection, and directed senior officials to chalk out a comprehensive working procedure (SOP) in this regard.
In the meeting, it was also discussed to procure oxygen from Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, etc. With regards to Remdesivir shortage in the state, it was discussed to stop excessive and unnecessary use of the anti-viral drug.
Meanwhile, the task force members said that about 95% of the patients can be cured at their homes, and only critically ill patients need urgent hospitalisation. "Isolation rooms, with oxygen concentrators, should be set up in societies. Proper planning should be done as even young patients are facing the need for ventilators," the members said.
After the meeting, Maharashtra Minister Aslam Sheikh said that some of the people were of the view that a lockdown should be imposed for two weeks. "Some were in favour of a three-week lockdown. SOPs and guidelines for it to be discussed," he said. "A meeting will be held again tomorrow," he added.