(PTI Photo/Arun Sharma)

Mumbai: The number of coronavirus patients on Sunday surged to 33 in Maharashtra after one more person, who was admitted in Naidu hospital in Pune on March 14, tested positive.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a telephonic conversation with PM Modi and apprised him of the ground reality and a slew of measures, including invoking the Epidemic Act, 1897 taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Of the 33 patients, Pune district comprising Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporation areas, tops the list with 16, Mumbai 5, Thane 1, Kalyan 1, Navi Mumbai 1, Panvel (Raigad) 1, Nagpur 4, Ahmednagar 1, Yavatmal 2 and Aurangabad 1.

Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said the latest patient to have found positive to the infection had a history of travelling to Japan.

“The 31-year-old person was admitted in Naidu Hospital here on March 14. The result of his swab sample, which was sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), has returned positive,” he said, adding the person is undergoing treatment and is stable. He had travelled from Japan to Dubai back to India.

Minister of Public Health Rajesh Tope said the state Government has urged the Maharashtra Public Service Commission to postpone all exams until March 31 while the museums will remain closed till the same period.

Tope, who visited the Kasturbha Hospital and Seven Hills Hospital to review the quarantine facility and other infrastructure, announced that the laboratory capacity to test samples of suspected novel coronavirus will be expanded to 350 per day from the present 100 at the civic-run Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai.

Tope said another laboratory will be set up at KEM Hospital in Mumbai in the next two days. New laboratories will also come up at JJ Hospital, the Haffkine Institute — also in Mumbai, besides at a hospital in Pune in the next 15-20 days in view of coronavirus outbreak.

He said orders will be issued either on Monday or Tuesday and the facility will be ready within 15-20 days.

Of the 33, nine are currently undergoing treatment at the Kasturbha Hospital. Tope said that 250 samples can be tested at the new facility at KEM Hospital.

Further, the Minister said laboratory will be set up at the medical colleges situated at Dhule, Aurangabad, Miraj and Solapur. Additional 450 ventilators will be made available to treat coronavirus patients across the state.

As on date, 1,81,925 fliers, 1,584 were screened at Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur airports. Since January 18, 758 were admitted in the isolation wards due to fever, cold and cough.

Of 758, reports of 659 patients came coronavirus negative while 33 positive. Still 75 suspected patients are undergoing treatment at the isolation wards across the state.

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Free Press Journal