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Situation in Maharashtra ‘Pretty Grim’, Sense of Irresponsibility Due to Vaccination: Covid Task Force Member

With Maharashtra witnessing a steep resurgence of Covid-19 cases, Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the state’s Covid-19 task force has called for a public health strategy to be put in place in the state, calling the situation ‘pretty grim’.

In a conversation with CNBC-TV18, Joshi said, “The situation is pretty grim in Maharashtra. There is a fast-spreading Covid-19 strain. Testing in Mumbai has reduced.”

He further added that lesser exposed areas in Mumbai are seeing greater number of cases and spots like Mulund in Mumbai need micro containment.

“Lack of masking in restaurants is a big concern in Maharashtra. It will be tough to contain the pandemic if public continues to be in fatigue mode. Vaccination is spreading a sense of irresponsibility among people. Need to be on the guard for two months after vaccination. Antibodies can rapidly decline and one can see a re-occurrence. Practice of wearing masks should continue in 2021,” said the task force member.

Joshi also said that low fatality rate in Maharashtra is a silver lining. He also cleared that they were not worried about the blood clotting issue on the Astrazeneca vaccine.

Meanwhile, with over 15,000 fresh cases, the Maharashtra government on Monday extended restrictions imposed in containment zones till March 31 and issued fresh guidelines for the state. All offices in the state, except health and other essential services, will have to function at 50 per cent capacity. As far as possible, employees should be asked to work from home, the notification said.

While all restaurants, hotels, malls and cinema halls have also been advised to operate at half capacity, they will further have to ensure adequate manpower to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing. Temperature checks and sanitising of hands have also been made mandatory at these places.

Mumbai city reported 1,713 new cases of infection, Pune city — 1,122, Aurangabad city — 657, Nagpur city — 2,094, Nashik city — 671. A weeklong lockdown is already in place in Nagpur district.

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