33 new cases take Covid-19 count to 186 in Maharashtra

Published on Mar 29, 2020 12:56 AM IST
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BySurendra P Gangan and Rupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai

Maharashtra recorded 33 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Saturday, the highest spike in a day so far, as the total count rose to 186. The state’s Covid-19 toll rose to six after the civic body confirmed that the 85-year-old surgeon, who died on Friday at Hinduja Hospital, had succumbed to the disease.

Mumbai, too, saw its Covid-19 cases rise from 51 to 73, with a seven-month-old girl becoming the youngest person in the city to test positive for the disease. The toddler, according to civic officials, got infected from her mother who had travelled to Saudi Arabia. The family lives in Government Colony at Bandra East. “We have home quarantined all residents in Government Colony,” said the civic official, adding that the mother and daughter are undergoing treatment at the isolation ward of the Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray (HBT) Trauma Care Hospital in Jogeshwari.

The state government, in a statement, said 323 patients were admitted to various hospitals across the state on Saturday, taking the total number of people hospitalised since January 18 to 3,816. The government said that 26 patients have recovered so far.

Meanwhile, the Dombivli police booked a 25-year-old man, who has been tested positive for Covid-19, and 11 others for arranging a huge wedding function on March 18 and March 19. The bride, groom and his parents are among those who have been charged under Section 188, 269, 270 and 271 of IPC and Section 2, 3, 4 of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

The action comes after a 60-year-old woman, who attended the function, tested positive for Covid-19. The man had come from Turkey, where he works, to attend the wedding. “We are also checking other guests who attended the wedding,” said RN Munagekar, senior police inspector, Vishnunagar police station.

After tackling the issue of essential commodities, the state is now facing the issue of migrant labourers, who are stranded owing to the lockdown. The government has directed all district collectors to identify schools, colleges and marriage halls to house these migrants during the period of lockdown. The collectors have been given powers to use funds from the state disaster relief fund (SDRF) for the arrangements of their food.

“They are set on going back to their home states and are flocking the highways, especially those bordering districts such as Palghar, Raigad, Nanded and Solapur. It has posed a major challenge for us to make them stay at makeshift shelter and insist that they do not go back to their homes. They have been travelling in all types of vehicles, risking their lives and violating the prohibitive orders. In Nanded, we have received reports that the workers hailing from Rajasthan and working in Telangana had come to Maharashtra and were determined to back to their homes on foot,” said Bhushan Gagrani, principal secretary, who is part of the task force of senior bureaucrats set up to deal with various aspects related to the pandemic.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, too, has received calls from his counterparts of states such as Uttar Pradesh, Talangana, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, requesting him to make arrangements for the stay and food of the stranded workers. The CM has directed the administration to ensure that these migrants do not come on to the roads.

Meanwhile, the state government has begun to prepare isolation wards at all district hospitals and government medical colleges in various parts of the state.

State health minister Rajesh Tope said on Saturday that coronavirus-affected patients will now be treated under the Mahatma Phule Janarogy Yojana, the public mediclaim scheme, facilitating them to utilise 2,000 ventilators available at the 1,000 empanelled hospitals under it. “We are increasing the number of empanelled hospitals under the scheme to 1,000 from existing 492 from April 1...”

The CMO has appealed to industrialists, corporate houses, religious trusts, NGOs to make donations to help the government combat the disease. The government has created a separate bank account (39239591720; IFSC CODE- SBIN0000300) with the SBI, under the CM Relief Fund.

(With Inputs from Sajana Nambiar)

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