Amid the rising coronavirus COVID-19 cases in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Sunday said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is likely to take a final decision on reimposing lockdown after a cabinet meeting on April 14.
Tope made the statement while talking to reporters after a marathon meeting that CM Thackeray had with the State Covid Task Force to hold discussions over ways to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission in Maharashtra.
CM Thackeray said during the meeting, which also included senior doctors, that the situation is worrisome in Maharashtra and tougher restrictions are need to check the spread of infection.
“In the next two days there will be a discussion with the Finance Department and other departments. The Chief Minister may hold a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Once this is done, probably by April 14 the Chief Minister may take an appropriate decision,” Tope said.
“Some task force members had a different view, but the majority believed that there is no alternative to a lockdown. The situation in some cities over availability of oxygen beds and ICUs is precarious,” he added.
Tope said that during the meeting CM Thackeray and task force members also held talks over ways of ramping up the state’s health infrastructure. The state health minister asserted that effective use of Remedesivir was a top priority for the next 15 days.
“We have decided that the distribution of Remdesivir to private hospitals should be controlled by the collector. The medicines should be kept at the stockists and be distributed to hospitals through the collector. By doing this we are eliminating the distributors and retailers from the chain,” Tope said. He said that government hospitals would be allowed to purchase the medicine directly from companies.