MUMBAI: In the wake of rising coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, the state government as a precautionary measure has decided to curtail the ongoing Assembly session by six days.
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said that the budget session will conclude on March 14 against its scheduled date of March 20, 2020. Pawar said that for the session, the government officers have come to Mumbai and the numbers are quite big.
"The absence of administrative staff from the local and ground level, tackling the coronavirus is tough. We need to support staff at the ground. In Maharashtra, there are total 11 positive coronavirus patients who are admitted in Pune and Mumbai," Pawar said.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said that they have been screening all international passengers at Mumbai airport.
"The source of current coronavirus is not Mumbai. But it has come from Dubai along with other passengers. We have identified all 40 passengers who had come from Dubai. Besides, more 1000 passengers of this tourist company yet to return from Dubai," Thackeray said.
Thackeray also confirmed that they have received the proposal of hosting IPL matches without the crowd at the stadium.
"We are discussing it on this proposal and we are want to inform the people that they should avoid crowded places. We have also received a proposal from Pune to close down the schools. But exams are going on, therefore, we will discuss and take the decisions," Thackeray said.
So far 11 positive cases were reported in Maharashtra including two in Maximum City Mumbai taking the total number of infected persons to 68.
Rajesh Tope, the health minister said that they had screened 1,30,000 passengers at the Mumbai International Airport.
"We have also set up the committee under the head of the chief secretary where other revenue, home, urban and rural development secretaries will be members of this committee. So there will not burden on the health department alone," Tope said.
Thane administration invokes Disaster Management Act
The Thane district administration on Wednesday invoked the 'Disaster Management Act' to effectively deal with any situation arising out of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Till now, 11 positive cases of the viral infection have come to light in Maharashtra.
Of these, eight have been reported from Pune, two from Mumbai and one from Nagpur.
District collector Rajesh Narvekar announced the implementation of the Disaster Management Act in Thane.
Narvekar is also chief of the District Disaster Management Authority.
"Since Thane abuts Mumbai, many tourists travel to or stay in the district. Therefore, it is necessary to take immediate measures to control the infection and prevent the spread of the virus," officials said.
Dr Kailash Pawar, District Civil Surgeon, and District Health Officer of Thane Zilla Parishad (ZP) Dr Manish Renge have been appointed as nodal officers to implement the Act, they said.
Also, responsibilities have been fixed on the police, the municipal corporation, ZP, health, revenue, food and drug administration, education and industrial departments to deal with the situation, the officials said.
Due to enforcement of the law, officers appointed in the disaster management have to create separate medical teams and deploy them full time to deal with suspected coronavirus patients, they said.
Authorities have been given powers to take action against private hospitals not cooperating, they said.
They have also been empowered to act against sale of masks and drugs at exorbitant rates, the officials said.
Instructions for disinfection of places like bus and train stations, malls, hotels, banks and ATMs, among others, have been given, they said.
(Wit PTI Inputs)