Maharashtra mulls lockdown, Delhi and Punjab announce curbs as COVID cases spike; Europe resumes using AstraZeneca jab
From ramping up vaccination capability to imposing an evening curfew, state governments are searching for to curb the looming ‘second wave’
“I see lockdown as an possibility,” mentioned Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday as the state authorities sought to curb the surge in COVID-19 cases. One of many worst-hit states, Maharashtra on Thursday recorded its highest variety of new cases because the pandemic broke out in 2020.
Friday’s spike in cases was solely marginally decrease: A complete of 25,681 new cases had been recorded in Maharashtra on Friday, as against 25,833 new cases on Thursday.
Thackeray, nonetheless, is hopeful that folks will comply with social distancing norms.
“I belief folks of the state to cooperate (and comply with the COVID-19 norms voluntarily) just like the final time,” he mentioned.
Talking to reporters within the Nandurbar district, he additionally appealed to folks to put aside vaccine hesitancy and get inoculated “with out worry”. Thackeray made the remarks amid the state imposing recent restrictions on theatres, auditoriums and non-public places of work.
Nonetheless, Maharashtra is not the one state going through a grim COVID-19 state of affairs. Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Gujarat are among the many states which are additionally seeing a surge and recent restrictions according to precautionary protocol.
From ramping up vaccination capability to imposing an evening curfew, state governments are searching for to curb the looming “second wave”.
The Delhi authorities introduced that vaccination centres will function until 9 pm beginning 22 March, whereas Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh ordered the closure of all instructional institutes from Saturday until 31 March.
Taking cognisance of the sudden surge within the covid cases, all Delhi Govt hospitals will hereby function vaccination websites of their premises until atleast 9pm.
Ample man energy will probably be deployed to make sure the identical.
I request Delhiites to comply with correct protocols and keep protected! pic.twitter.com/Q1aodNML4J
— Satyendar Jain (@SatyendarJain) March 19, 2021
Within the 11 worst-hit districts in Punjab, an entire ban has been ordered on all social gatherings, apart from funerals and weddings, which will probably be allowed with solely 20 folks in attendance. This will probably be enforced from Sunday, PTI reported.
Experiences added that the Madhya Pradesh authorities has imposed a one-day lockdown in Indore, Bhopal, and Jabalpur cities.
On the worldwide entrance, international locations throughout Europe resumed vaccinations with the AstraZeneca shot (manufactured in India by the Serum Institute of India as Covishield) on Friday, as leaders sought to reassure their populations of its security. Using the AstraZeneca-Oxford College vaccine was briefly suspended after doubts had been solid on it.
France’s prime minister Jean Castex rolled up his sleeve to get the shot and British prime minister Boris Johnson deliberate to, as did a handful of different senior politicians throughout the continent, the place the inoculation drive has repeatedly stumbled and a number of international locations at the moment are re-imposing lockdowns as infections rise in lots of locations.
On the nationwide scale, India noticed 2021’s highest spike in new cases at 39,726 on Friday. This has been a pattern over the previous week, with every consecutive day surpassing the final ‘highest’ determine. Nonetheless, Friday’s spike was additionally the very best in 110 days, PTI reported.
Maharashtra govt proclaims curbs for drama theatres, auditoriums
Thackeray conceded that the COVID-19 state of affairs has develop into grimmer based mostly on Thursday’s figures. Nonetheless, he confused that, in contrast to final yr when there was nothing to battle the virus with, folks now have the vaccines as a defend.
“The precedence now’s to make sure that everyone seems to be vaccinated. Folks ought to come ahead to take the vaccine,” he mentioned.
The Union authorities has assured that there can be no scarcity of vaccines, he mentioned. There have been just a few situations the place an individual caught the an infection after vaccination, however such cases aren’t “life-threatening”, the chief minister mentioned.
“Everybody ought to get vaccinated with out worry,” he added.
Thackeray’s remarks come amid the state rising its goal of every day vaccinations to three lakh folks, and recent restrictions being imposed on theatres, auditoriums and non-public places of work.
Whereas drama theatres and auditoriums within the state have been requested to function solely at 50 p.c of their capability until 31 March, non-public places of work, besides these associated to well being and different important providers, will probably be allowed to operate solely at 50 p.c of their capability.
The state additionally introduced stricter punishment for violators, together with shutting down negligent theatres and auditoriums for a interval till the COVID-19 pandemic stays notified as a catastrophe by the central authorities.
Equally, non-public places of work, besides these associated to well being and different important providers, will probably be allowed to operate solely at 50 p.c of their capability, a authorities notification issued on Friday mentioned.
Within the case of presidency and semi-government places of work, the top of the workplace will take a choice concerning the workers attendance and guarantee adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
As per the notification, drama halls and auditoriums is not going to be used for spiritual, political, cultural and social gatherings.
The order, nonetheless, allowed the manufacturing sector to operate at full capability, however suggested that the workforce be diminished to make sure enough social distancing on the manufacturing ground.
Delhi, Punjab revise timings for vaccination centres
Vaccination centres in Delhi will function until 9 pm from 22 March, the Delhi authorities mentioned. A replica of the order issued by the town authorities’s well being division was shared by Well being Minister Satyendar Jain in a tweet on Friday.
“Taking cognisance of the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases, all Delhi Govt hospitals will hereby function vaccination websites of their premises until at the least 9 pm. Ample man energy will probably be deployed to make sure the identical. I request Delhiites to comply with correct protocols and keep protected!” he tweeted.
The choice was introduced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday.
Acknowledging that coronavirus cases in Delhi have been rising in the previous few days, Kejriwal had introduced that the capability of every day inoculation in Delhi can be augmented from 30,000-40,000 to 1.25 lakh.
Delhi on Thursday recorded 607 new COVID-19 cases, the very best in over two-and-a-half months, whereas yet one more fatality pushed the loss of life toll to 10,949, the state Well being Division mentioned.
In the meantime, the Punjab authorities advised all non-public and authorities hospitals to supply hassle-free vaccination providers for at the least eight hours every day until 31 March.
“There must be no requirement of a separate certificates if an eligible particular person aged 45 and above brings a medical report concerning co-morbidities,” he directed.
The instructions got at a evaluation assembly chaired by the chief minister, during which he took observe of the low vaccination numbers within the state.
In keeping with an official assertion, he expressed concern that of 1,291 registered non-public services, 891 have reportedly not administered a single dose.
From a low of round 200 cases every day and deaths in single digits, Punjab has gone to round 2,000 cases per day and the deaths are additionally rising, he famous.
“We now have to be ready for this second surge,” mentioned Amarinder, mentioning that the 1918 Spanish flu had 4 spikes. “We now have to be ready for an extended battle,” he warned.
Surge in cases alarming, make masks should at rallies, polling cubicles: Bengal medical doctors inform CEC
A joint platform of medical doctors in West Bengal on Friday wrote to the Election Fee, sounding an alarm over rising COVID-19 cases and the “full disappearance” of security protocols at political rallies within the poll-bound state.
The medical doctors have additionally flagged the non-availability of beds in COVID-19 hospitals as effectively as free ventilators within the state.
“The variety of COVID-19 victims in West Bengal has been rising considerably over the past seven days. Mutant strains have been discovered within the our bodies of a number of sufferers, too.
“It is usually to be famous that the variety of exams being recurrently carried out is way lower than earlier than,” Dr Hiralal Konar and Dr Punyabrata Gun, representing the Joint Platform of Docs, mentioned in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora.
“A number of sufferers are being admitted in COVID-19 ICUs as soon as once more, and there’s a scarcity of beds as effectively as free ventilators… Whereas it isn’t attainable to conclude with certainty in regards to the initiation of the second wave, this pattern is sort of alarming,” the medical doctors mentioned.
“Security protocols have utterly disappeared within the strategy of holding rallies and conferences of all political events on the event of the upcoming elections within the state,” they added.
COVID-19 caseload particulars
India noticed 39,726 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, the very best single-day rise recorded up to now this yr, taking the nationwide tally of cases to 1,15,14,331, in keeping with Union Well being Ministry knowledge up to date at 8 am on Friday.
The toll elevated to 1,59,370 with 154 every day new fatalities, the info confirmed.
Registering a rise for the ninth day in a row, the whole lively caseload has reached 2,71,282, which now contains 2.36 p.c of the whole infections, whereas the restoration charge has additional dropped to 96.26 p.c, the info said.
In keeping with ICMR, 23,13,70,546 samples have been examined as much as 18 March with 10,57,383 samples being examined on Thursday.
The 154 new fatalities embody 58 from Maharashtra, 32 from Punjab and 15 from Kerala.
A complete of 1,59,370 deaths have been reported up to now within the nation together with 53,138 from Maharashtra, 12,573 from Tamil Nadu, 12,415 from Karnataka, 10,949 from Delhi, 10,300 from West Bengal, 8,753 from Uttar Pradesh and 7,186 from Andhra Pradesh.
With inputs from businesses
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