Mumbai: Given the continuous rise in new Covid cases and high positivity rates in 18 districts in the red zone, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday banned home isolation in these spots. All patients must necessarily be admitted to Covid care centres (CCCs), the government has said. The district administrations have been directed to increase the number of CCCs in these districts, said Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope. The decision was taken after a meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and district authorities.
The 18 districts are Satara, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Osmanabad, Beed, Raigad, Pune, Hingoli, Akola, Amravati, Kolhapur, Thane, Sangli, Gadchiroli, Wardha, Nashik, Ahmednagar and Latur.
“In these 18 districts, the state government has decided to entirely stop home isolation. The district collectors have been asked to set up more Covid care centres and admit all active patients there,” Tope said.
As on date, asymptomatic patients or those who have mild symptoms of coronavirus infection are advised home isolation. But, according to Tope’s announcement, if a person tests positive and is asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, they won’t be allowed home isolation anymore. Initially, Mumbai and Mumbai suburban districts were on the list of 18 districts, but were dropped, as home isolation for Covid patients will be allowed.
Tope’s announcement follows Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat’s indication that the administration would have to discontinue home isolation, as it was not working where people had small homes and chances of their mingling with the family members are more. “It not only impacts family members but outsiders also. Therefore, arrangements should be made for their segregation, as such patients do not need hospitalisation,” Thorat had said after he chaired a meeting with 15 district collectors on the situation.
The state has 3,27,580 active cases and the recovery rate has improved to 93 per cent. The case positivity rate -- proportion of positive cases in tested samples -- is around 12 per cent while the case fatality rate is 1.5 per cent, Tope said. He however, reiterated that the positivity rate in the 18 districts was higher than the state average.
District collectors have also been asked to utilise the funds from the premium collected on the auction of minor minerals to set up CCCs in villages, he added. They have also been directed to complete fire safety audits of hospitals in their areas, he informed.
ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers will be trained to conduct Rapid Antigen Testing and use self-testing kits, Tope said, adding they would be asked to encourage villagers to undergo testing and spread awareness about the importance of vaccination.
On the global tender issued by the state for coronavirus vaccines, the minister said, “There has been no response from any vaccine producer. We have sent emails for Sputnik-V vaccine (to the Russian manufacturer) but are yet to hear from them. The Centre should float a tender on behalf of the states.”