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Maharashtra CM discusses strengthening of health infrastructure with task force

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday discussed setting up of oxygen generation plants, upgrading the number of beds and other medical facilities, besides availability of Remdesivir injections in a meeting held with members of the state COVID-19 task force. He once again underlined the need to break the coronavirus transmission chain by imposing a lockdown and said a standard operating procedure (SoP) will be prepared after holding consultations.

Thackeray said he will once again request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide additionaldoses of COVID-19 vaccines to Maharashtra.

He also called for expediting the vaccination process and completing vaccination of all health workers in the state, the Chief Minister’s Office said in a statement.

The CM said asymptomatic people are spreading coronavirus among the rest.

“Unnecessarily negligent people are putting the lives of others to risk. There is a need to break the virus chain by imposing a lockdown. A standard operating procedure (SoP) will be prepared after consultations,” he said.

Thackeray stressed that strict restrictions are needed for some time in the state.

Members of the task force demanded that additional oxygen be procured from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka that have good oxygen stock.

The meeting also discussed how to stop the “irrational use” of Remdesivir drug, which is in high demand for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The task force members observed that 95 per cent of the patients can get proper treatment in home quarantineand that only serious patients should get hospital beds in the state, the statement said.

The members suggested that housing societies set up isolation roomswith oxygen concentrators temporarily. Experts also suggested management of hospital beds by local bodies and that doctors take a call on admitting patients in hospitals after making patients take a six-minute walk test.

They also suggested proper management of oxygen and a heavy penalty for the people not wearing a face mask in public.

Experts also suggested that third-year MBBS and AYUSH doctors be asked to join the COVID duty.

Maharashtra Health Secretary Pradip Vyas said 4 lakh new cases were reported in the state between April 4 and April 10, while 1,982 patients died, it said.

Maharashtra’s case positivity rate is 26 per cent at present, he said and attributed the higher positivity rate to increased testing.

On Saturday, the state conducted a total of 2.6 lakh tests including one lakh antigen tests.

Currently, 75 per cent of the total 20,250 ICU beds and 40 per cent of the 67,000 oxygen beds remained occupied in Maharashtra. No beds are available for patients in 11 to 12 districts, the meeting was told.

In Nandurbar, a railway bogie has been converted into an isolation facility, Vyas informed.

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