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Maharashtra an area of concern for us: Harsh Vardhan in Covid-19 review

In the online meeting with state health minister Rajesh Tope, Vardhan highlighted that seven districts — Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Sholapur—have been reporting heavy case load, and need special focus to contain the spread of the disease.

Updated: May 06, 2020 14:15 IST

By Rhythma Kaul, Hindustan Times New Delhi

Till 2pm on Wednesday, Maharashtra reported 15,525 of 49,391 cases in India, and 617 of the country’s 1,694 deaths. (Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

Maharashtra is a cause for concern with 34 of its 36 districts affected by the coronavirus disease, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan told state authorities while reviewing the Covid-19 situation on Wednesday.

In the online meeting with state health minister Rajesh Tope, Vardhan highlighted that seven districts — Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Sholapur—have been reporting heavy case load, and need special focus to contain the spread of the disease.

The western state has 26 containment zones, which are earmarked pockets in red or orange zones where there are no relaxations of lockdown rules. The two districts that are in green zone (no case reported in at least 21 days) are Gadhchiroli and Wardha, which are about 200km apart.

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Till 2pm on Wednesday, Maharashtra reported 15,525 of 49,391 cases in India, and 617 of the country’s 1,694 deaths.



“Maharashtra is an area of concern for us at the moment as higher number of cases is being reported from the state. Experts from the central team are stationed there to help the state government. The teams from National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) are also closely monitoring the situation, and looking at ways by which we can reduce the number of cases,” Vardhan said during the review.

“The Centre is ready to help in every way possible — be it manpower increase, capacity building, technical assistance etc. or any kind of handholding that is required to manage the situation. We have to get into the minute details to devise a better strategy for disease control,” he said.

He also directed experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Nagpur, to take help in local surveillance.

“Even though rapid response teams of all medical colleges are active at the ground level, I would ask AIIMS, Nagpur, to also proactively assist the state government in managing the disease in the district since they are located in the district. We are in constant touch with all district magistrates who are managing the situation on ground. The idea of this review is to redefine the strategy in these severely affected areas for better outcome,” he added.

Apart from Maharashtra, the Union health minister later in the day is also scheduled to review the situation in Gujarat, which is another state reporting high case load of Covid-19.

Last week, the health minister conducted a digital meeting with Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, and is expected to hold meetings with other states in the coming weeks.

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