Wednesday, April 21

Maharashtra govt to focus on containment of Covid-19 in hotspots


The Maharashtra government is focusing on the containment in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) hotspots such as Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur, which have reported the maximum of positive cases in the past few days.

Around 85% of Covid-19 positive cases been reported from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Pune district, the most urbanised parts of the state. Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai make up the MMR, which is located less than 150 kilometres away from Pune.

Maharashtra has reported 781 Covid-19 positive cases until Monday morning — the highest in the country — of which 670 are from the MMR and Pune. The state has recorded 45 Covid-19 related deaths, of which 36 are from the MMR and five from Pune.

The civic bodies in the MMR and Pune have been directed to meticulously implement the cluster containment action plan in a bid to contain the rapid spread of the viral outbreak.

The state administration, headed by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and chief secretary Ajoy Mehta, has been closely monitoring the action plan in these urban areas. Thackeray will hold a meeting with the guardian secretaries — a senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) from each district has been appointed as a point-person for better coordination with the state government — on Monday. The district authorities are likely to be ordered to ensure the containment of Covid-19 positive cases and a smooth supply of essential commodities.

Mumbai and Navi Mumbai municipal corporations have formed 519 and 196 teams of health workers, respectively, to work in the containment zones and monitor the high-risk people. Similarly, Pune and Nagpur have formed 439 and 210 teams, respectively. “We’ve formed 3,078 teams, comprising more than four health workers in each unit, across the state. They’ve traced over 10 lakh people, who need to be monitored to prevent the viral outbreak,” said state health minister Rajesh Tope.

“Of the 36 districts, around 10 haven’t reported a single Covid-19 positive case. The outbreak is only restricted to the MMR, Pune and Nagpur. If we could isolate the affected areas from the rest of the state, we could rapidly bring down the number of Covid-19 positive cases. Similarly, the spread within the containment zones can be brought under control,” said an official.

The authorities, however, are facing a major challenge as far as controlling the crowds at vegetable markets in urban areas is concerned. They have temporarily shifted the markets to open grounds on the lines of their experiment with the Dadar market last week. Plans are now afoot to set up a cluster of small markets in residential areas.

Senior IAS officers are appointed as guardian secretary with one district each for better coordination between state amd district administrations. The CM will now discuss district plan with them in the backdrop of covid outbreak.