AMID the spurt in COVID-19 cases, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said 100 per cent lockdown is not required as of now, but stressed on the need to impose restrictions wherever there is crowding. Talking to reporters after a meeting with the State’s COVID-19 Task Force and officials of the health, planning and finance departments, Tope said the State reported over 16,000 cases on Tuesday, and the number could rise to 25,000 on Wednesday. He said the silver lining is that 90 per cent of the cases are asymptomatic. Of the 10 per cent symptomatic patients, only one to two per cent require hospitalisation.
The State has seen a sharp rise in the daily cases since the last two weeks. “The Task Force has used the term augmented restrictions, which means if the cases rise like this...we don’t have to use the term lockdown. Hundred per cent lockdown is not certainly required as of today,” the Minister said. He said augmented restrictions means that non-essential activities have to be stopped. “Wherever crowding takes place, there have to be restrictions, but it is not the case that it (curbs) should be brought today,” Tope said. He said recommendations of the Task Force will be discussed with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The Minister strongly emphasised on ramping up the vaccination against COVID-19, and focusing on those who have not taken the jabs and third dose for frontline workers. As the cases rise, an aggressive focus will also be on information, education and communication activities on the precautions to be taken after testing positive for the coronavirus, he said.