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COVID-19 spike | Lockdown-like restrictions need to be considered, says Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

At a meeting with senior health officials and the COVID-19 task force, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray instructed them to prepare for restrictions similar to lockdown.

March 29, 2021 / 07:14 AM IST
CM Uddhav Thackeray says lockdown needs to be considered.

CM Uddhav Thackeray says lockdown needs to be considered.


At a meeting with senior health officials and the COVID task force, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray instructed them to prepare for restrictions similar to lockdown if people continue to violate COVID-related rules.

In the meeting that took place on March 28, Thackeray said the COVID cases are rising because people are not following guidelines seriously, and that is why strict steps like lockdown are needed to be considered, reported ANI.

During the meeting, the COVID task force also expressed concerns over an increased death rate. Beds and other health facilities are also becoming inadequate due to the rapid increase in cases in the state.

Thackeray has instructed for an SOP to be drawn up, so a planned shutdown can be implemented. The CM also instructed the COVID task force to ensure an adequate supply of oxygen focus on institutional quarantine, instead of home quarantine and increase ICUs and ventilators, as mortality rates can go up, according to News 18.

The CM also suggested to enrol private doctors for medical services and give higher priority to old and comorbid patients. He also said that people w with comorbidities must be allowed to work from home.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

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.

How many types of vaccines are there?

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.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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.

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It's been more than a month now that COVID cases have been spiralling in Maharashtra. Over the past few weeks, many measures have been taken to control the spread of the virus. Partial lockdowns, night curfews, stricter restrictions- all these have been tried out on districts such as Pune, Nagpur, Amravati, etc. Even Mumbai's Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation tightened its COVID restrictions in February.

But cases have not stopped increasing. According to the Union Health Ministry, Maharashtra is one of the seven states that contributes to 81.46 percent of the daily new cases registered in the last 24 hours. The other six are Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

As per earlier orders, a night curfew will be imposed in Maharashtra from March 28, 8 pm in view of the unabated rise in COVID-19 cases, an official statement said.

On March 27, local authorities were instructed to ensure that shopping malls remain shut between 8 pm and 7 am.

CM Thackeray also warned of stricter restrictions if people did not observe COVID-19 safety protocol, an official release stated.

Among the curbs, the state government has increased the fine to Rs 500 from the existing Rs 200 on anyone found without a mask in public in an attempt to contain virus surge.

On March 27, Maharashtra reported 35,726 new positive cases, 14,523 discharges and 166 deaths. The total number of cases in the state stands at 26,73,461. Total recoveries are at 23,14,579; Death toll at 54,073 and active cases at 3,03,475.

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