Possibility of lockdown in Madhya Pradesh: Shivraj Singh Chouhan weighs in
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Sunday imposing a lockdown is not a solution to control the rising cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the state, which reported a record spike in infections on Saturday taking its tally over 332,000. “A lockdown is not a solution to Covid-19. Whatever restrictions have been put in place at the local level is a corona curfew and not a lockdown. Essential services are unobstructed in the state," Chouhan said, according to news agency ANI.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan also said his government is making “relentless efforts” to fight the pandemic and sought support from the people of the state. "If we have to combat the infection, we have to be aware first," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
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Chouhan said on Saturday the number of active Covid-19 cases, which currently stands at 32,707, in the state might reach 100,000 by the end of April. "The way there is a spike in coronavirus infection cases, the number of active cases in Madhya Pradesh may reach one lakh by the end of this month. We will try to stop this in the middle as we have started adopting some measures, including lockdown," the Madhya Pradesh chief minister told reporters.
Rising Covid-19 cases
Madhya Pradesh reported 4,986 Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the state's highest single-day spike, which have pushed its infection count to 332,206, said an official.
The state’s death toll rose to 4160 after 24 Covid-19 patients succcumbed in the last 24 hours, the official said. Madhya Pradesh has added 36,695 cases and 174 deaths to its tally in April so far. The Covid-19 caseload in Indore stands at 77,592, followed by 57,334 infections in the capital city of Bhopal.
"With 912 new cases, Indore's caseload went up to 77,592 and Bhopal's rose to 57,334 with the addition of 736 cases. Indore reported five deaths during the day, taking its toll to 994. Bhopal's toll rose by one to touch 645. Indore and Bhopal have 7,425 and 5,088 active cases respectively," an official was quoted as saying by PTI.
Measures against coronavirus disease
On Saturday, Madhya Pradesh announced several measures, including lockdowns in several districts, to contain the rising cases of the coronavirus disease. The lockdown was extended till April 22 in Jabalpur city and Balaghat, Narsinghpur and Seoni districts. Madhya Pradesh’s additional chief secretary (home) Rajesh Rajora said that collectors in these districts will soon issue orders related to the lockdown.
“The lockdown will be in force in Indore city, Rau, Mhow, Shajapur city and some districts like Ujjain, Barwani, Rajgarh and Vidisha till 6am on April 19. Lockdown will be in force from April 12 till the morning of April 22 in Balaghat, Narsinghpur and Seoni districts as well as Jabalpur city, and orders under section 144 of CrPC will be issued by respective collectors soon,” Rajora was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Shankar Lalwani said the lockdown in Indore, which was initially scheduled to end on Monday, April 12, has now been extended till 6am on April 19. Lalwani said vegetable and milk shops in the city will remain open from 7am to 10pm and that grocery and medical stores will also remain open during the lockdown. The BJP leader said Indore’s situation is worrisome as compared to other cities and districts in the state. "Home isolation has been encouraged because last time when we did home isolation then around 3,000 people were able to avail facilities. We will issue a protocol for who should be home isolated and who should be hospitalised," he said, according to news agency ANI.
Covid care centres, Remdesivir
The government has also ramped up other ways to tackle the viral disease. Chouhan said on Saturday the state government has decided to open Covid Care Centres in all the districts due to the rise in cases, adding that officials in Bhopal and Indore are trying to identify buildings, where such facilities could be set up. The supply of oxygen for medical purposes has been maintained in the state, he added. The state government is also making arrangements for ventilators, he said. "We will soon get 350 ventilators from the Centre," Chouhan was quoted as saying by PTI.
A senior Madhya Pradesh official on Sunday that said a sizeable batch of Remdesivir, a drug considered useful in the treatment of the infection, has arrived and will be distributed to medical facilities as per requirement. "A total of 4,000 vials have been received in Indore on Saturday. They will be supplied to government medical institutions as per requirement. An additional 4,000 vials have been received for use in private medical facilities," P Narhari, an official with the MP Food and Drug Administration, said on Sunday.
According to the Union ministry of health and family welfare, Madhya Pradesh is among the 10 states—Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan—which have shown a steep rise in the daily new Covid-19 cases. These 10 states account for 80.92 per cent of the new infections reported in a span of 24 hours, the health ministry added.
(With agency inputs)