With Covid-19 cases in the state touching 11,141 on Sunday, the state cabinet expressed serious concern, while Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, during his intervention, clearly said a statewide lockdown could be the last option to consider if cases continued to surge and people continued flouting norms.Thackeray gave the example of the United Kingdom, which had imposed a nation-wide lockdown to break the coronavirus chain. He went on to add the state government would have to take a similar decision in the days to come, in order to break the chain of transmission.
The Cabinet reviewed the district-wise measures, including lockdown, curfew and the imposition of fresh restrictions but observed that if these measures failed to yield positive results, the government would have no option but to reimpose a statewide lockdown.
Thackeray’s hint came a day after the Centre dispatched a multi-disciplinary team to coordinate with the state government in further strengthening the Covid-19 containment strategy. The Centre’s message is to step up ‘’Testing, Tracking and Treatment’’ on a war footing.
Thackeray and his cabinet colleagues were not happy at the manner in which home-quarantine patients were observing the rules, which, it is being felt, is causing the spread of the virus. The cabinet was unanimous that such home-quarantined patients should be immediately shifted to institutional quarantine, Covid centres or in hospitals, so that they did not infect others.
A Maha Vikas Aghadi minister told The Free Press Journal, “The health department, in a 35-page presentation, painted a bleak picture as there are 2,21,9727 Covid-19 patients with a recovery rate of 93.36 per cent, fatality rate of 2.36 per cent and doubling rate of 170.94 days, till date. The rate of daily growth in patients is 0.47 per cent, against the all-India rate of 0.17 per cent. There are 700 active patients per million, as against 149 per million at the national level. The death rate is 0.53 per cent.’’ He said what was worrying was that from February 1 to March 7, the number of patients surged by a record 1,95,973 with daily cases averaging 8,919.
According to the health department, 10 of the total 36 districts have emerged as new hotspots, with daily cases on the rise. These are Pune, Nagpur, Mumbai, Thane, Amravati, Jalgaon, Nashik, Akola, Aurangabad and Washim, which have higher rates of growth in daily cases.
Further, the fatality rate in 15 districts is more than the state rate of 2.36 per cent. It is 3.48 per cent in Sangli, 3.46 per cent in Mumbai, 3.46 per cent in Ratnagiri, 3.37 per cent in Kolhapur, 3.37 per cent in Parbhani, 3.16 per cent in Solapur, 3.15 per cent in Osmanabad, 3.10 per cent in Satara, 3.92 per cent in Beed, 2.87 per cent in Nanded, 2.73 per cent in Latur, 2.67 per cent in Sindhudurg, 2.59 per cent in Jalna, 2.52 per cent in Yavatmal and 2.38 per cent in Jalgaon.