Sixteen more people have tested positive for the coronavirus disease in Mumbai and two more cases were reported in Pune, taking the number of those infected in Maharashtra to 320, the highest in the country, news agency ANI reported on Wednesday.
This comes a day after Maharashtra reported 302 cases on Tuesday with 82 people testing positive for Covid-19. Of these 59 were recorded in Mumbai alone, taking the number of infected people in India’s worst-hit city to 151.
However, state health minister Rajesh Tope said the jump on Tuesday was because the results of tests conducted by the city’s private laboratories over the past four days were declared together.
Maharashtra’s chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had on Tuesday said they are sealing areas where there are coronavirus patients to curb the further spread of Covid-19.
Thackeray also directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to set up 227 flying squads that will conduct a house-to-house inspection in each and every ward. The squad will have personnel each from BMC, police, health and revenue departments.
“The squads will reach out to the members of the patient’s family and all those who came in contact with them. They will be asked if they have any symptoms of flu, such as cough, cold and fever, and for those having any of these symptoms, arrangements will be made for testing,” Thackeray said.
Uddhav Thackeray had on March 22 declared imposing section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in urban areas of the state, restricting assembly of not more than five people at one place. His orders came two days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a 21-day lockdown across the country.
Thackeray had also declared a shutdown of public transport services — Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST), state transport and private buses. Mumbai Metro and Monorail also announced the closure of their services till the end of the month.
The staff in all the government offices was also reduced to 5% each day.
The numbers are still rising despite all the restrictions and are likely to further rise. Experts believe the state should increase its testing capacity and reach out to maximum people to contain the spread.
Anil Deshmukh, the state’s home minister, has warned people against spreading any rumour on April Fool’s Day on Wednesday.
“Tomorrow’s April 1st. The annual tradition making an ‘April Fool’ of people has already begun on WhatsApp & social media. The state govt won’t allow anyone to spread rumours/panic on #Corona. I’ve instructed @MahaCyber1 to act swiftly & strongly such miscreants,” Deshmukh tweeted.