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Maharashtra lockdown update: State likely to extend COVID-19 curbs beyond May 1, final decision today

The Cabinet is also likely to decide on free COVID-19 vaccination of people in Maharashtra.

April 28, 2021 / 10:31 AM IST
The Cabinet is also likely to discuss free vaccination of people in Maharashtra. (Image: AFP)

The Cabinet is also likely to discuss free vaccination of people in Maharashtra. (Image: AFP)

Maharashtra government is looking to extend the statewide lockdown-like restrictions amid the surge in COVID-19 cases. The final decision is expected to be taken during a Cabinet meeting on April 28.

"Though COVID-19 cases are dipping in Mumbai and Thane, the same trend is not being seen in rural parts of the state, such as Marathwada and Vidarbha,” said Vijay Wadettiwar, relief and rehabilitation minister., as per an Indian Express report.

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A decision will be made during April 28 Cabinet meeting on whether to extend lockdown by a week or two, he added.

Earlier, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal had also said the Maharashtra government is unlikely to ease COVID-19 restrictions in the state post-May 1 if cases continue to rise unabated.

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.

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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.

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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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Read: Maharashtra reports over 66,350 new COVID-19 cases in a day

"Restrictions are common for entire Maharashtra and cases are on the rise in some parts of the state. The state government will think of easing restrictions only after the situation improves across Maharashtra," he had said.

Besides, the Cabinet is also likely to discuss free vaccination of people in Maharashtra.

On April 25, state minister Nawab Malik had said the state government wanted to make the vaccine free for those aged 18 and above.

Read: Maharashtra govt likely to vaccinate all citizens for free

Later, state tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray had also tweeted that the state will vaccinate everyone for free.

He later deleted the tweet to avoid causing “confusion regarding the official vaccination policy of Maharashtra that would be fully ensuring fast, efficient vaccination and would leave nobody behind"

“The official policy of vaccination will be declared by the empowered committee and we must await its recommendation for a fair policy for all sections of society," he added.

Maharashtra on April 27 reported 66,358 new COVID-19 positive cases and 895 fatalities, taking the tally of infections to 44.10 lakh and the death toll to 66,179, the state health department said.

Mumbai recorded 3,999 new cases and 59 deaths, raising the city's overall tally to 6.35 lakh and the toll to 12,920.

Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak

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first published: Apr 28, 2021 10:31 am