COVID-19 pandemic: Maharashtra staring at grim future as confirmed cases near 2000

Mortality rate in the western state is higher than the world average and double the national average

Published: 13th April 2020 03:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th April 2020 10:56 AM   |  A+A-

People find it difficult to practice social distancing while buying vegetables and fruits at Byculla market during the nationwide lockdown imposed in the wake of coronavirus pandemic in Mumbai Sunday April 12 2020. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI: As India’s coronavirus cases surged past the 9000 mark, it became clear that the state of Maharashtra is facing the worst of the pandemic in the country with confirmed cases nearing the
2,000 mark.

According to a report by Maharashtra’s Medical Education and Drug Department — dated April 11 — the mortality rate in Maharashtra is at 6.98 per cent, which is higher than the world average of 6.10 per cent and more than double the national average of 3.1 per cent.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has said that Mumbai alone may see 3,500 coronavirus cases in the coming days.

With 221 more people testing positive in Maharashtra on Sunday, the state’s tally of such patients has reached 1,982, a state health official said on Sunday.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that they have formed teams to conduct door-to-door screening of suspected patients.

“I have been monitoring Maharashtra and Mumbai closely. We are putting extra effort to contain the spread. We have decided to bring the coronavirus patient count to zero, only then will the war against coronavirus be won,” Thackeray added.

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said that their main concern is Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan, Pune and Nagpur metropolis region.

“To mitigate the intensity of the spread in other sectors, as per directives of PM Narendra Modi we have decided to divide Maharashtra into three zones — red, orange and green. If the number of coronavirus patients is more than 15 then that district or ward will be declared as a red zone. If the number of patients is less than 15, then the district or ward will be called orange, while a green zone will have no cases of coronavirus,” said Tope.

Manufacturing and other activities may be permitted in green zones but the owner will have to take the responsibility of their employees, the health minister added.

“We will seal the borders of the green and orange zones so no one can enter another safe zone. Besides, companies will have to follow lockdown in policies where once employees are inside the company, no one should be allowed to enter from outside. They will have to follow social distancing and other hygiene guidelines. We are likely to get clear guidelines and directives from the Centre,” Tope said.

There is no end to political bickering in the state with former CM Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday asking the state government to borrow money from the cash-rich Mumbai civic body and MMRDA to buy the equipment required to fight coronavirus.

“Money should not be an excuse for the delay in procurement of such items,” he said speaking to a Marathi news channel.

“The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) have bank deposits worth thousands of crores, which can be utilised for raising money during the ongoing fight against the coronavirus outbreak,” the senior BJP leader said.

The BMC is controlled by the Shiv Sena, which is headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

92 fined for not wearing masks          

A total of 92 people in   Aurangabad were on Sunday fined`46,000 for not wearing masks in public places, civic commissioner Astik Kumar Pandey said. Wearing of masks in public is mandatory in the state.

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