Lockdown in Pune, Mumbai? It will be the last choice, says Health Minister Rajesh Tope

Lockdown is the last resort in Pune, Mumbai, said Maharashtra's Health Minister Rajesh Tope
Rajesh Tope, Health Minister of Maharashtra
Rajesh Tope, Health Minister of Maharashtra Image source: The Bridge Chronicle

Pune: With increase in the spread of COVID-19 cases around India, many states have enforced strict measures to curtail the further spread. Maharashtra, one of the ‘hotspots’ in India is witnessing a surge of COVID case from February this year. The state has reported over 23 lakh cases so far.

Due to rising cases, there are speculations that the MVA (MahaVikas Aghadi) government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray may reimpose a lockdown in Mumbai and Pune. These two cities which are the epicentre of the virus is observing rapid spread of the cases from past few weeks. However, Maharashtra’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope has denied that lockdown will not be reimposed as it is the last choice to do so.

Rajesh Tope, Health Minister of Maharashtra
Back to COVID-19 era: Mumbai-Pune belt worst-affected in India

Talking to India Today, Tope said that even though the cases are increasing, the government is ready to handle it and there's no need for lockdown in Mumbai and Pune.

He said, “Not at all. Lockdown is the last resort. For lockdown there are norms - hospitals have to be overwhelmed or there has to be unavailability of beds or doctors. Only in such cases, we go for lockdown. We are very well prepared, there are lots of beds vacant. 85 per cent of patients are asymptomatic and are in home quarantine. There's no reason for a lockdown.”

Meanwhile, India reported 35,871 new cases on Wednesday, of which 23,179 cases (close to 65 per cent) were from Maharashtra.

The number of active cases in the country has gone up to more than 2.52 lakh. At least 172 fatalities were recorded on Wednesday, taking the tally to over 1.59 lakh. Maharashtra’s surge is close to the grim mark of 25,000 that the state reported in September last year.


Calling for lessening of the age limit for vaccination, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to permit all people over the age of 45, with or without comorbidities, to get inoculated. Thackeray made the demand during the virtual meeting that Chief Ministers had with the PM to review the COVID-19 situation.

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