Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan
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Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, on Wednesday, expressed serious concern over the rise in the number of coronavirus positive cases in Maharashtra, as out of 36 districts, 34 are affected. “The situation in the state is certainly a matter of concern right now. I will hold a meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as well, to discuss further course of action in order to contain the spread of the virus,’’ he said in his tweet.

Vardhan, who held a video conference with Maharashtra Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope, further said that the situation in Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Solapur are a matter of worry because of the rapidly increasing coronavirus cases. He also drew Tope’s attention to the 1,206 containment zones and advised the state government to step up the containment strategy in these areas.

Vardhan’s concern is valid, as the number of cases in Maharashtra on May 5 surged to 15,525 with 617 deaths so far. Further, the Inter Ministerial Centre team, which was in the state, had projected that the number of positive cases is expected to be 75,000 in Mumbai alone by the end of May. The team suggested the state government to increase institutional quarantine and testing facilities in Mumbai and Pune.

Tope said that he has explained the government’s containment strategy and informed the union minister that, as on date, 2,819 patients were discharged. In the last two days, a record 700 patients were discharged. He added that the number of laboratories has increased, comprising 92,152 private and 89,594 government laboratories for conducting tests. So far, these labs have completed 1,81,746 tests.

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