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Maharashtra accounts for one-fourth of India’s cases, Fadnavis calls state a new Covid capital

PUBLISHED ON AUG 15, 2020 10:01 PM IST

PUNE Maharashtra leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis termed the state as the latest Covid capital of India citing the rising number of cases and fatalities.

The former chief minister was in the city on Saturday to inaugurate a 15-bed Covid care centre for journalists.

“Unfortunately, Maharashtra has become the Covid capital of India with 24 per cent of patients and 41 per cent deaths being reported from the state alone,” he said, adding that the government needs to increase testing to control the situation.

As on Friday, Maharashtra has reported 5,72,734 cases with 19,427 deaths compared to 2,520,987 cases and 49,108 deaths in the country. Within the state, Mumbai, Pune and Thane have reported maximum cases.

Fadnavis insisted on increasing RT-PCR tests in Maharashtra saying that the current focus is on rapid antigen tests.

“While there is a need for an increase in overall testing, more RT-PCR tests should be carried out in Maharashtra. The current ratio of 1:2 RT-PCR tests and rapid antigen tests should be brought to 1:1,” said Fadnavis.

The BJP leader also insisted on small Covid facilities instead of jumbo centres being set up in the state. In Pune, two jumbo facilities are coming up following the state government’s nod.

‘Whatever my party will decide for me, I will work accordingly’

On shouldering the crucial role for upcoming Bihar polls just when Sushant Singh Rajput’s case has heated political discourse, the former chief minister said that the case has nothing to do with his appointment and it is “just a coincidence”.

“In our party, various leaders are tasked with various responsibilities during elections. Similarly, I have been asked about the polls there. Whatever my party will decide for me, I will work accordingly,” said Fadnavis.

Fadnavis also praised the Maharashtra police saying there is no comparison between them and Bihar counterpart. He was replying to a query about his views on Maharashtra police after Bihar alleged that Mumbai police are not probing Sushant’s suicide case properly.

“I have already said that we fully believe in Maharashtra police. I have worked with them for five years and I know their capability. However, on various occasions, police have worked under political pressure and we expect them to work freely.”

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