Launching the ‘Mission Begin Again’, by unlocking the services in a phased manner, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said the State has almost reached the peak in terms of COVID-19 patients and the graph will come down if people adhere to safety norms with responsibility and precautions.
“This is the beginning of yet another battle as we have to tread carefully from now on. We are beginning from scratch and do not want to go back on the lockdown phase. We have almost reached the peak in terms of number of COVID-19 patients. The curve may rise slightly, but it will be flattened now. We have to bring down the numbers by following prescribed safety norms,” the CM said.
Asserting that it is wrong to say Maharashtra has over 65,000 patients, Mr. Thackeray said the number includes even the first patient who is now cured and back home. While over 28,000 have been discharged, the active cases are around 34,000. Of them, 24,000 are asymptomatic, while 9,5000 are with mild to medium symptoms. Only 1,200 patients are serious and 200 are on ventilator.
No final exams
Mr. Thackeray also announced that final-year students in degree courses will be given marks or grades by taking average of their previous semesters’ marks.
“It is not possible to conduct examinations in June while uncertainty remains about July and August. We cannot let students suffer because of these delays,” he said in his social media address, adding those who still want to improve their marks can opt for appearing for exam in October.
‘We are prepared’
Presenting the data on the State’s preparedness to fight the pandemic, the CM said the state had only two testing labs when the first patient was detected.
“It was Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai and NIV in Pune. But today, we have 77 labs and the number will be increased to 100 in the next few days. We will be increasing the number of labs as testing in monsoon for flu-like symptoms will go up,” he said.
Mr. Thackeray said from three hospitals with isolation facilities, the number has jumped to 2,500, while the number of isolation beds has grown from 400 to 2.5 lakh, of which 25,000 beds are with oxygen facility.
Trains for migrants
Informing that over 16 lakh migrant workers have left Maharashtra by trains and buses, Mr. Thackeray said the spat between Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and the State over trains seems to have done the trick. “Since then, the number of trains has increased and I thank Goyal ji for that,” he said.
The CM announced that the home delivery of newspapers will resume from June 7. “However the delivery boys must be provided with masks and sanitiser. Their safety is also our concern,” he said.