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Lockdown in Maharashtra likely to be extended for 15 days until May 31

Information regarding the same was shared by State Health Minister Rajesh Tope, who also stated that the vaccination drive for citizens between 18 and 44 has been postponed due to the limited availability of both the vaccines.

Lockdown in Maharashtra likely to be extended for 15 days until May 31
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The state government of Maharashtra, on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, has made plans to extend the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown till May 31, 2021. The lockdown was earlier imposed a few weeks back with an aim to curb the spread of the virus and was expected to be in force till May 15, 2021. However, the impact of the lockdown has been positive as the cases have significantly reduced. 

But to strengthen the same and with a motive to break the chain, the government might extend the same for 15 days. The decision was announced by State Health Minister Rajesh Tope, after the cabinet meeting. Addressing the media, he confirmed that the lockdown has shown positive results and the COVID-19 spread has reduced. He also stated that the confirmation regarding the same will be made by the Chief Minister.

Quoting Tope, ANI reported, "At the Cabinet meeting, the health department & ministers proposed to extend the lockdown for 15 days. The chief minister will take a final decision on this matter: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope."

Meanwhile, he also emphasised on the importance on vaccinating the citizens above 45 years of age. Keeping the same and the limited availability of vaccines in mind, the government has decided that the vaccination for citizens between the age group of 18 and 44 years has been postponed. As per the revised scheduled, both Covishield and Covaxin will be used to administer the second dose to the citizens who have been given the first dose. 

Further decisions will be taken after Serum Institute of India (SII) fulfills the promise of supplying two crore vaccines after 20 days. The government may resume the vaccination of citizens between the age of 18 and 44, once the stock is available. 

It is being reported that the ministers and experts demanded the the lockdown to be extended and the decision was taken after thorough consideration. The strict restrictions, imposed earlier by the government, will continue under the 'Break the Chain' initiative. 

Data released by the state government over the last few days revealed that the implementation of lockdown has helped in reducing COVID-19 cases across cities like Mumbai, Thane and Pune. On the other hand, the recovery rate has also improved. This extension of the lockdown is expected to show better results in the next two weeks and officials hope that the cases might reduce in other parts of the state too. 

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