Mumbai: Amid rising cases of coronavirus in Maharashtra, the state government's cabinet meeting on Wednesday (May 12) is expected to review the pandemic situation and decide on whether to further extend the lockdown-like measures or not.
The move is expected at a time when Maharashtra reported 40,956 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a sharp rise from 37,236 logged a day ago, taking the tally to 51,79,929, while 793 more patients succumbed to the infection.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope also stated that the state government in the cabinet meeting on Wednesday will review the situation and decide on whether to extend these lockdown-like measures or not. There is a rising demand that the full lockdown in Maharashtra should be extended by two more weeks, as the existing lockdown under the ‘Break The Chain’ order will end on May 15.
On Tuesday, Maharashtra reported 40,956 new COVID-19 cases, a sharp rise from 37,236 logged a day ago, taking the tally to 51,79,929, while 793 more patients succumbed to the infection, according to the state health department.
With 40,956 COVID-19 infections, the state's caseload increased to 51,79,929, while 793 deaths upped the fatality count to 77,191, said the health department.
On Monday, the number of daily coronavirus cases (37,236) in the state had dropped below 40,000 for the first time since March 31. A day later, the state recorded a jump of 3,720 cases to again breach the 40,000-mark.
Maharashtra, the worst COVID-19-hit state in the country, had reported 39,544 cases on March 31. The state had registered 54,022 cases on May 7, 53,605 on May 8 and 48,401 on May 9. Of the 793 fatalities, 403 had occurred in the past 48 hours, while 170 took place last week and 220 people died before the last week, but were added to the toll on Tuesday, the department said.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday alleged that the Union government was not fulfilling its responsibility to provide an adequate number of vaccine doses to states.
Tope told reporters, "The Union government has not provided enough vials of Covaxin and Covishield, hence we had to divert our own Covaxin stock, purchased for the 18-44 years age group, for the above- 45 age group," adding "The Union government is not fulfilling its responsibility of providing sufficient quantity of vaccine."
The Union government should grant approval to all the COVID-19 vaccines available in the global market, Tope said, adding "It is a reasonable and necessary thing to do now."
The minister said that the Centre should help the existing two vaccine-makers in the country -- Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India -- to enhance their production.
The Maharashtra government has asked vaccination centres to use the vials provided for the 18-44 age group to inoculate the above 45 category, the minister said, adding "We are going slow on the vaccination of 18-44 age group."
Mucormycosis cases in Maharashtra
Maharashtra's health minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said that the state government has decided to use hospitals attached to medical colleges as treatment centres for Mucormycosis.
Notably, symptoms of Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, include headache, fever, pain under the eyes, nasal or sinus congestion and partial loss of vision.
Tope told PTI that "there could be over 2,000 Mucormycosis patients in the state as of now and with more and more COVID- 19 cases coming up, their number would increase for sure."
According to him, the state government has decided to select hospitals attached to medical colleges for treatment of Mucormycosis patients as it demands a multidisciplinary approach.
"A Mucormycosis patient needs to be seen by various experts such as ENT, ophthalmologists and neurologists among others. We are trying to cover most of the treatment under the Mahatma Phule Jan Aarogya Yojana (the state's flagship health scheme), he said.
(With Agency Inputs)