Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday held a meeting with all District Collectors through video conferencing to discuss issues related to the deadly Coronavirus which has caused 4,749 deaths worldwide. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta were also present.
Here are the highlights of the meeting:
1. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that irrespective of the people testing positive for Coronavirus in Maharashtra, the origin of the virus isn't local. He added that it has spread through foreign tourists. "The checkings have been intensified in the state since yesterday and also discussion with the embassies of different countries is on," he said.
2. Uddhav said that the citizens shouldn't panic and form long queues for testing outside hospitals. He said that the tourists who return should themselves stay at home for 15 days and not intermingle with family or society. Uddhav informed that the state government is reviewing the situation after every two hours. He added that there should be public awareness in tourist and religious places which are expected to be crowded.
3. Adhering to the direction from the administration, people who have travelled from China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15 and have returned to the country should be compelled to stay at home for 15 days. People coming from these seven countries will be 100 per cent quarantined.
4. All the government events including travel, community events, campaigns, government events must be cancelled. Emphasis should be placed on the identification and dissociation of patients tested positive for Coronavirus. Instruct tourism companies to not take any bookings for the next few days. Keep the public toilets and public place clean. Take strict action against those who do not follow these instructions.
5. If there is a patient tested positive, a team must be formed to inquire about his/her travel information, contact information. A Standard Operating Procedure should be formed for each village. The Chief Secretary instructed various organizations for canceling the religious programs and tours in the cities for at least 15 to 20 days.
6. Control room should be set in each district. Dr. Pradip Vyas, Principal Secretary to the Health Department said that the district collectors should make arrangements to quarantine the passengers who will return from the seven countries. Patients who report positive but have not experienced symptoms should be quarantined at the hospital. Quarantine facilities should be removed from the hospital. However, the facility of separation should be in the hospital, he added.
Meanwhile, in Maharshtra 12 people have been tested positive for COVID-19. The twelfth patient who tested postive had travelled from the United States and is admitted in Pune's Naidu hospital.