COVID-19 in Maharashtra: Spurt in cases due to reduced testing, tracking and tracing in state, says Centre
PTI Photo

The Centre has expressed serious concern about the spike in cases in Maharashtra, pointing out that 8 out of 10 districts with Covid-19 cases are in the state.

These districts include Pune (18,474), Nagpur (12,724), Thane (10,460), Mumbai (9,973), Amravati (5,259), Jalgaon (5,029), Nashik (4,525) and Aurangabad (4,354).

Maharashtra reported the highest number of daily new cases at 13,659, almost 60 per cent of the nation’s daily caseload on Thursday.

Further, the Centre has said that while Kerala reported the maximum decline in active cases, Maharashtra has shown the maximum increase in active cases in the last 24 hours. The number of active cases in the state have already crossed the one-lakh mark since February 1.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava said the spike in cases in Maharashtra is because of “reduced, tracking and tracing, as well as Covid-inappropriate behaviour and large gatherings.”

The Centre’s scathing observations came on the day that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray received his Covid shot at the JJ Hospital. He warned that the state government would impose lockdowns in more areas if the situation were to further deteriorate. “In the coming days, we may have to impose lockdown in some more areas if Covid-19 norms are not strictly followed. We will decide in the next couple of days,” Thackeray said.

He urged people to get vaccinated, wear masks in public places, wash hands, avoid crowding and refrain from venturing outside home unless it was important.

As reported by The Free Press Journal, Thackeray has been concerned at the rising cases and especially over the public’s non-compliance with pandemic norms. He had said that the decision on lockdown in areas showing a sharp and continuous rise in cases would be taken after reviewing the ground situation.

A state public health department officer told The Free Press Journal, “The Centre wants the state to stick to the basics of surveillance, contact-tracing and testing, implement micro-planning and ensure strict compliance with protocols. Further, the Centre has suggested to strengthen teams that will ensure meticulous home quarantine, conduct focused testing of 100 per cent population in hospital areas, to be repeated after five days and isolate positive cases to check the spread.” He said the state government had further stepped up containment measures to break the chain of transmission.

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