MUMBAI: The daily oxygen requirement for COVID-19 patients will be the deciding factor for imposing lockdown in future, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Wednesday.

If the oxygen requirement reaches 700 metric tons, lockdown will be imposed again, he said in a statement.

The daily oxygen production capacity in the state is 1,300 metric tons, he said.

“During the second wave, when the number of COVID-19 cases showed a steep spike, the demand for oxygen was also very high. Some 500 metric tons of oxygen had to be procured from other states. If the demand goes up to 700 metric tons daily, which is the quantity needed for nearly 30,000 patients, the state will be once again brought under lockdown,” Thackeray said.

The chief minister’s statement came in the wake of the government’s decision to ease restrictions by allowing local train travel in Mumbai for fully vaccinated people, and allowing shops, malls, restaurants, gyms and salons to remain open till 10 pm from August 15.

The Delta variant of the COVID-19 is spreading fast in other countries like UK and USA, Thackeray said, adding that easing of restrictions is being done very cautiously.

“We have to be vigilant against the third wave and various variants of the virus,” Thackeray said.