Coronavirus in Maharashtra: State to have special control room, lockdown in Akola for two days

Senior IAS officers Rajeev Jalota and Bhushan Gagrani would lead the team operating from the control room, which will also include IAS officer Prajakta Lavangare and IPS officer Manoj Patil.

Published: 21st March 2020 05:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st March 2020 06:37 PM   |  A+A-

Sparse crowd is seen due to the coronavirus pandemic, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai, Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

Sparse crowd is seen due to the coronavirus pandemic, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (Photo | PTI)


MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Saturday announced setting up of a special control room to oversee the efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

It will function from the Mantralaya (state secretariat), said an official.

Senior IAS officers Rajeev Jalota and Bhushan Gagrani would lead the team operating from the control room, which will also include IAS officer Prajakta Lavangare and IPS officer Manoj Patil.

Jalota would coordinate with government departments and district collectors and issue clarifications regarding policy decisions, the official said.

Gagrani will handle media coordination as well as coordination with trade and pharma industries.

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Lavangare will coordinate with civil society organisations and corporates while Patil will coordinate with the police.

The number of coronavirus patients in the state rose to 63 on Saturday with 11 new cases coming to light.

Meanwhile, two persons, a man and a woman, who had `home quarantine' seal stamped on their hands, were deboarded from a Gujarat-bound train in Maharashtra's Palghar district on Saturday morning.

The Maharashtra government has been stamping the wrists of passengers coming from certain foreign countries, requiring them to isolate themselves at home for two weeks, in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

Both these passengers had returned from Dubai, said an official release from the Western Railway.

While the man was travelling in the general compartment of the Intercity Express, the woman was in a reserved coach, it said.

Some co-passengers noticed that they had stamps mandating home isolation on their hands and alerted railway police, the release said.

The two were deboarded at Virar station and sent for medical examination.

Dubai returnee detrained at Kalyan near Mumbai

A 30-year-old Uttar Pradesh resident was detrained at Kalyan railway station by patrolling security personnel on Saturday as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus outbreak as he had travelled to Dubai, an official said.

He had returned to Mumbai on March 17 and would have needed home quarantine as part of protocol set in place for those coming back from a select group of countries.

The incident took place around 11.30 am on platform no 5-6 where long-distance trains halt, an official said.

"During patrolling, Railway Protection Force staff S N Mundey found a passenger, a resident of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, with travel history to Dubai and who had come to Mumbai on March 17," he said.

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"The man was made to alight the train and then sent to government-run Bai Rukminibai Hospital in Kalyan. Authorities have been informed about the incident," he added.

Liquor sales banned in Nashik

The sale of liquor was banned from Saturday till further orders in Nashik after the Epidemic Diseases Act and Disaster Management Act were invoked to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Saturday.

The order to close bars, including those located in five-star hotels and resorts, and liquor shops from 6 pm on Saturday till further notice was issued by Collector Suraj Mandhare, he said.

Meanwhile, figures released by the district administration showed samples of 41 out of 50 people sent for coronavirus testing has returned negative while reports of the remaining were awaited.

All 41 have been discharged.

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It added that the home quarantine of 36 out of 209 people in the district was over as on Saturday.

Lockdown from Mar 22-24 in Maha's Akola

The Akola district administration has ordered a lockdown between March 22 and 24 in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak during which all establishments except those selling essential items will remain closed.

The move is similar to the sectoral shutdown put in place in Maharashtra's major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nagpur, said officials.

The 3-day lockdown decision was taken by Collector Jitendra Papalkar, officials said.

"The emphasis is on social distancing and reducing congestion," Papalkar told PTI.

An official added that, till date, 62 people had come from abroad to Akola, of which 59 were placed under home quarantine.

People not taking lockdown seriously, says Nagpur civic chief

People of Nagpur are not taking the lockdown in place for the novel coronavirus outbreak seriously, its municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe said on Saturday.

He said a survey of the ground situation by civic officials found most shops had downed shutters but there was considerable traffic on the roads.

Provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act are in place in the city which allows officials to impose measures like lockdown and quarantine to quell an outbreak.

"Despite repeated appeals, people are not taking the lockdown seriously. I appeal to citizens to not go out unless it is absolutely essential," he said at a press conference.

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