New Delhi: Amid multiple cases of new Delta Plus variant being directed in different parts of the state, the Maharashtra government on Thursday (June 24, 2021) held a state cabinet meeting on the issue. The new Delta Plus Variant, which has been tagged as a ‘Variant of Concern’ by the Union government, can likely force Maharashtra to impose uniform restrictions across the state. In the cabinet meeting, the state health ministry with experts briefed the ministers on the issue of the new variant and stated serious concerns over its presence.
Earlier, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had said that multiple cases of the variant has been reported in seven districts in the state, adding that the authorities are isolating such cases and taking all details like travel history.
According to a report in Times Now, Rajesh Tope said that the state has decided to send the samples for the genome sequence study. “No deaths have been caused due to the Delta Plus variant. Symptoms and treatment are the same for this variant. No children have been infected with this variant,” he added.
The state health minister has directed officials to closely monitor the Delta Plus variant cases as the information about these cases needs to be collected and recorded for study.
Additionally, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has ordered the officials to focus on seven districts in the state, where the infection rate is higher. CM Thackeray also stressed on the fact that there needs to be no rush in relaxing the COVID-induced restrictions if there is a threat of virus spread.
Speaking to collectors of Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Hingoli districts, where the number of cases being reported is high, Thackeray said the state health department should plan about making available oxygen beds, ICU beds, setting up field hospitals in all districts in view of the possibility of a third wave.
CM Thackeray said that upgrading health infrastructure is necessary in view of the prevailing second wave, the Delta plus variant of the virus and the threat of the third wave.
"We have to be very careful in the future. We are at the tail of the second wave. Unlocking shouldn't be done in a hurry. Each district should be self-sufficient in oxygen production. Administration must ensure that oxygen, medical equipment are available for rural and remote areas," he said.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Thursday recorded 9,844 new COVID-19 cases, while 197 patients succumbed to the infection. The state’s total caseload now stands at 60,07,431, said the health department in a statement.
Mumbai city reported 773 new cases and 10 deaths, taking its infection tally to 7,22,736 and the toll to 15,348.
The Nashik division reported 748 cases and 12 deaths, the health department said. The Pune division recorded 2,465 infections and 40 fatalities, of which 26 came from Satara district alone, the statement said.
The Kolhapur division reported 3,516 new cases and 74 deaths, of which rural parts of Kolhapur accounted for 22 fatalities followed by 16 from Ratnagiri.
Kolhapur city added 14 fresh deaths. The Aurangabad division registered 232 new infections and 11 deaths, while the Latur division added 302 cases and six fatalities, the statement said.
(With agency inputs)