Malegaon emerges among top five Covid-19 hotspots in MaharashtraUpdated: Apr 29, 2020 23:56 IST
Following a spike in Covid-19 cases over the last few days, Malegaon in Nashik district has become one of the five hotspots in the state. The Maharashtra government has now launched Mission Malegaon, to tackle the coronavirus outbreak in this densely-populated city.
Of the 195 cases in the district, 171 (around 90%) were reported in Malegaon and the 12 related deaths were also from the city. The tally of cases in Malegaon has doubled from 85 in a week since April 21, largely because of the failure of containment mechanisms and social distancing norms. This has put the city among the top five hotspots in the state, alongside Mumbai, MMR excluding Mumbai, Nagpur, and Pune. The state has now appointed a task force of medical workers and security personnel to control the situation.
“Lockdown orders were ignored and power loom and handloom industries were working for a few days after the announcement. Police officers who took action against violators faced pressure from political leaders. Administrative staff, health workers, and security personnel are not ready to work in the area,” said an official from the district collectorate.
The state government has deployed three companies of State Reserve Police Force, in addition to the local police, taking the total strength to 1,800 personnel deployed on the ground in Malegaon. Home minister Anil Deshmukh said that the government is ready to deploy additional forces if required.
State health minister Rajesh Tope said, “The death rate in Malegaon is high because patients did not report symptoms, making it difficult for the authorities to trace contacts,” he said. Tope said that authorities have now been asked to organise mass institutional quarantine of contacts.