Need to focus on 10 districts with most Covid-19 cases and deaths: CentreUpdated: Aug 08, 2020 01:09 IST
The Central government has expressed concern over the high number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in 10 districts of the state. Lav Agrawal, joint secretary, Union health ministry, in a review meeting along with chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray, said that Maharashtra needs to do more in the battle against Covid-19 to contain the spread, especially in the districts where the case count is high. He pointed out that 10 districts have contributed 79% of the total cases detected in the last week. Their case fatality rate (CFR) is also higher than the state’s average and needs to be brought under control.
The 10 districts include Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, Sangli and Nagpur.
Agrawal emphasized that the state needs to bring down the number of infections among healthcare staff as it is above the national average. Infection among a high number of healthcare personnel also means more strain on the health care system, he said.
As much as 21% of healthcare personnel in the state have tested positive for Covid-19. The country’s average is 7%.
Agrawal was speaking at a review meeting called by the CM along with divisional commissioners, municipal commissioners, district collectors and other senior officials from the health department. Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and health minister Rajesh Tope were also present. Agrawal was invited by the CM to share his views, and he also made a presentation.
He said that the state needs to focus more on areas where the rate of fresh cases, as well as case fatality rate is high. He pointed out that the 10 districts need more attention as their death rate is higher than the state’s average.
Maharashtra’s CFR at 3.49% is higher than the country’s 2.07%.
The joint secretary also called increased efforts to provide infected senior citizens with hospitals bed in time.
In the meeting, Agrawal stated that senior citizens do not like to get admitted to hospitals, and only go when their condition worsens. This can be avoided with timely intervention and surveys. He asked government officials to focus more on containment zones and house-to-house surveys and said that if a patient tests positive, then 80% of his contacts need to be traced within 72 hours, and tested.
Agarwal said that even if the antigen test result came negative, the person should be observed closely for symptoms, and a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test should be conducted. Government officials should also ensure test reports are released within 24 to 36 hours after the test is conducted.
Meanwhile, the CM directed officials to ensure that the state does not undergo a second wave of infection.
“We will have to ensure that a second wave will not come in the state as there are some projections. It is also the case in a few countries. We cannot afford negligence, and focus should be on the timely treatment of patients,” Thackeray said.