Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that the state does not require a stricter lockdown as people are following restrictions. Saying that the state has contained the spread of COVID19, the CM gave credit to strict restrictions and the lockdown that was put in place. He said that they estimated 10 lakh positive active patients, but the number stands at 7 lakh cases.
The Chief Minister while addressing the state on April 30 also spoke about the upcoming Phase 3 of India's vaccination drive which has been opened up to everyone above 18. Thackeray said that the rollout of vaccination for 18-44 years will start on May 1, as enough doses come.
"We will rollout vaccination for 18-44 age group starting tomorrow as we get enough doses," said CM Thackeray.
He remarked that the state requires around 12 crore doses and the Centre will be supplying 18 lakh doses in May.
"There are around 6 crore citizens in 18-44 age group in the state. We need around 12 crore doses. We have prepared to buy those doses right away, but there is a supply shortage. We are in talks with SII, Bharat Biotech and for Sputnik V", said the Maharashtra CM.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The CM also mentioned that he has requested the Centre to allow states to develop their own apps, as CoWIN app saw multiple technical issues the day registrations went live.
"I have requested the Centre to allow states to develop their own apps which can be integrated with the central system", said the CM.
The CM informed that COVID centres have been ramped up in the state, and now Maharashtra has more than 5,000 such centres. He also mentioned that ICU beds and ventilators are being increased as well.
Talking about the acute oxygen shortage, the CM said they can produce 1,200 metric tonnes of oxygen, but they need 1,700 tonnes. "Centre has allowed us to draw 500 MT from other states. But we continue to try and get this supply on time", said Thackeray.
CM Thackeray also urged doctors in the state to prescribe Remdesivir only when it is required. "While we are trying to get more remdesivir injections, I urge doctors — as suggested by WHO and central health authorities — to prescribe remdesivir only when required," said Thackeray.
The CM informed that 20 days are required to build oxygen plants and that many of the plants will be operational in the coming days. Thackeray has also ordered a structural audit of all jumbo COVID care centres.
Along with everything, Thackeray has taken into account the economic effects of another wave of the coronavirus. "The economic cycle must not stop even if we face another wave. Have already spoken to industrialists about what can be done if we see another wave after this", he said.
Maharashtra in the last 24 hours has reported 62,919 new cases, 828 deaths 69,710 discharges. The total active cases stand at 6,62,640.