Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar

Rising COVID 19 cases in Maharashtra have raised an alarm. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday warned that the state government may have to take harsh steps to contain the spread of coronavirus and urged the people to be prepared for the same.

His warning came in the wake of a spurt in Covid-19 cases in some districts in the Vidarbha region especially Amravati and Nagpur, and Nashik in north Maharashtra. He expressed strong displeasure over people not following the Covid-19 norms and violating guidelines.

"I have come across reports that people are not following the COVID-19 guidelines which are aimed at checking the spread of the infection. If the situation worsens, we may need to pay a heavy cost for this carelessness,’’ said Pawar who was at Aurangabad.

Pawar said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has convened a meeting to review the situation and take additional measures. He asserted that if the state government does not take some harsh decisions then all will have to pay heavy costs later. On Monday, the state reported 3365 new Covid-19 cases with 23 deaths while 3,105 were discharged. The fatality rate was recorded at 2.49% and the recovery rate is 95.7%.

Similarly, Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope asked the department machinery to step up tracing, tracking, and testing especially where the positivity is higher. He also warned that the people will have to strictly observe norms including face masks, social distancing, use of sanitizer, and avoid crowding to avoid a further bout of lockdown in the state. Tope hinted that the discontinuation of railway services for all may be the last option that the government will explore if the cases show a surge and people continue to flout norms.

Tope, who was also at Aurangabad, said the state government had successfully managed to flatten the curve in the last one month as far as daily addition of cases was concerned. However, he admitted that a recent rise in numbers in Mumbai, Wardha, and some other pockets was "alarming".

"We have given instructions that the 3T formula of tracing, testing, and treatment be implemented strictly. Testing should be increased in areas where positivity is high,’’ said Tope. He reiterated that the people should follow Covid-19 guidelines as they should not remain complacent.

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