Maharashtra extends lockdown until May 31 to curb spread of COVID-19

In order to further contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the Maharashtra government on May 12 announced extension of the current lockdown until May 31.

The announcement comes hours after a meeting of state’s cabinet ministers.

Earlier the lockdown was imposed until May 15. As per the guidelines, private offices, non-essential shops and establishments will continue to remain completely shut.

The inoculation drive beginning May 1 lists all adults of the country as eligible for the anti-COVID jabs. But, given the dearth of vaccines, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope, on May 11, had said the state will temporarily suspend the vaccination drive for the 18-44 age group.

“There is a dearth of vaccines, hence we’re considering holding off vaccination drive temporarily for the 18-44 age group. 2.75 lakh vaccine doses are left for this age group that’ll be now used for 45 years and above group. Administering the second dose is a priority,” Tope was quoted as saying

However, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla on, May 12, promised Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that he would deliver 1.5 crore doses of Covishield to the state after May 20.

Following this, Rajesh Tope said that COVID-19 vaccination for the 18-44 age group will resume after the SII consignment is received, news agency reported.

Maharashtra’s daily tally of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continued to rise on Wednesday with 46,781 new cases and 816 more deaths recorded in the last 24 hours taking the caseload and death toll to 5,226,710 and 78,007 respectively, according to the state health department’s bulletin.