Amid rapidly rising Covid-19 cases, the Maharashtra Government plans to increase the daily number of testing to 1 lakh in stages from the current level of 50,000. The state cabinet extensively discussed the surge in Covid-19 cases and unanimously arrived at a decision that the district administration should be directed once again to control crowding and be vigilant on the implementation of the protocol including face masks, social distancing, and use of sanitizer.
State health department officer told The Free Press Journal, "It is true the coronavirus cases are on the rise which is a second phase. It is not a second wave. In a week there has been a rapid increase in cases in Maharashtra. At present 50,000 testing is done per day which will be increased to 70,000 and later to 1 lakh to avoid further spread.’’
The officer said the cases are soaring especially in Mumbai, Nagpur, and Amravati divisions. "The district collectors have been asked to focus on tracing, testing, and testing. As per the prescribed norms, 20 contacts should be traced, tracked, and tested. It was found in some districts it was way below this number. Therefore, the district collectors have been told to step up this move,’’ he added.
Further, the district collectors have been asked to impose a penalty for gathering of people exceeding 200 people in marriages. Besides, they should recover fine from hotels and restaurants that are flouting the Covid-19 norms with regard to the number of customers at a given time.
The Aurangabad divisional commissioner Sunil Kendrekar at a video conference with district collectors said the rise in cases was because of carelessness from citizens, administration, and politicians, a sudden increase in cold, and a new variant of Covid-19. He has asked the district collectors to serve notice to marriage halls where more than 200 people were found and if they continue to flout the norms register offence and seal the marriage hall.
The district collectors have been asked to carry out raids on coaching classes which are operational and also impose fine on them.