Maharashtra tightens curbs as Delta Plus claims victim

Maharashtra tightens curbs after first death from Delta Plus Covid-19 variant reported

Level-3 restrictions mandate shops are shut by 4 pm and there would be curbs on unnecessary movements while malls and theatres would be shut

Beneficiaries wait to receive a dose of Covid-19 vaccine at the newly started vaccination centre in Patlipada Ghodbunder Road organized by Thane Municipal Corporation, in Thane. Credit: PTI Photo

On a day Maharashtra reported the first death from the Delta Plus variant of Covid-19, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Friday brought the state to Level-3 restrictions and indicated “wider and stricter restrictions” in the days to come.

Besides, it also decided to give a major boost to speed up the vaccination drive as the state crossed the 3-crore mark of administration of doses.

Level-3 restrictions mandate shops are shut by 4 pm and there would be curbs on unnecessary movements while malls and theatres would be shut.

The first death in the state from the Delta Plus virus was reported in Ratnagiri. “An 80-year-old patient from Ratnagiri district has died because of the Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 infection,” state Public Health and Family Welfare Minister Rajesh Tope said.

Also read: Maharashtra first state to administer over 3 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses

Speaking to reporters in Jalna, he said, so far only 21 cases of Delta Plus variant have been reported in the state. “Nine cases were reported from Ratnagiri, followed by seven from Jalgaon, two in Mumbai and one each in Palghar, Thane and Sindhudurg districts. While one patient has died, others are stable and some have been discharged,” said Tope.

According to a fresh notification issued by Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, new variants like Delta and Delta Plus have come to spread and are fuelling the potentiality of imminent – in four to six weeks – more severe third wave with wider geographical reach.

Also read — Maharashtra comes out with 'state-level oxygen trigger'

“…mutatations to the virus and its continual evolution mean that unforeseen situations may unfold requiring wider and stricter restrictions though current indices taken into account for imposing administrative level restrictions may indicate so and this state-level triggers other than oxygen beds occupancy needs to be promulgated,” he said.

The state government also asked the districts to push for 'Test-Track-Treat' methodology.

The state called for safer workplaces with proper air ventilation because of the “airborne-droplet” nature of the coronavirus.

Also read: People residing in highly polluted areas of Maharashtra prone to Covid-19 infection: Study

Kunte said that Covid-appropriate behaviour needs to be followed and in case of violations, there should be heavy fines and penalties.

Besides, the number of RT-PCR tests would be increased in the days to come.

The government has also decided to give a major push to the vaccination drive. “At 1400 hrs on 25 June, the total Covid-19 vaccianation doses administered in the state stood at 3,00,27,217,” said Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Dr Pradeep Vyas.

The government has asked District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMA) to ensure that more people turn up for vaccinations.

“Push vaccination through public awareness activities, attempt must be to achieve vaccination of 70 per cent eligible population at the earliest, encourage workplace vaccinations especially of blue-collar workers,” says the fresh guidelines announced by the state.

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