Friday, June 18

Maharashtra lockdown likely to be extended till May 31, hints Health Minister Rajesh Tope

Mumbai: The ongoing lockdown in Maharashtra could be further extended till May 31, hinted state Health Minister Rajesh Tope after a cabinet meeting on the issue on Wednesday (May 12).

Tope, however, said that the final decision in this regard will be taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The health ministry has proposed an extension of lockdown for 15 more days. The official announcement on this is likely to be announced by the CM by tomorrow.

Tope said that the restrictions on local trains will continue till May 15 and further decision on it will be announced later.

Meanwhile, the state government has halted the vaccination drive for people aged from 18 to 44 owing to a shortage of vaccine doses.

“There is no sufficient supply of vaccine vials by the Centre for inoculation of above-45 age group people. Hence, the state cabinet decided to divert the stock, purchased for the 18-44 age group, for the above-45 age group. Therefore, we are suspending the inoculation of the 18-44 age group for some period,” Tope said.

He further said that Serum Institute’s CEO Adar Poonawala has promised 1.5 crore doses of Covishield by May 20, after which the state will resume vaccinating people above 18 years.

The minister also said the state would seek permission from the central government to float a global tender for the purchase of the vaccine. The CM would write a letter in this regard to the Prime Minister, he said.

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