Mumbai: Total number of Coronavirus cases in Maharashtra rose to 63 on Saturday with 11 new cases being detected overnight among several foreign-returned persons, making the state lead with the highest number of COVID-19 infections in India. Also Read - Hyderabad And Outskirts Report 70 Clusters Amid Soaring COVID Cases In Telangana: Report
While one case is from Pune, 10 are detected in Mumbai, including three who are ‘first contact’ afflictions with no history of foreign travel, sending alarm bells ringing among the health authorities. Also Read - Total Lockdown in Maharashtra Soon? CM Thackeray to Take Final Call Today After Task Force Meeting | Highlights
As the state continued to lead in the number of active cases, Tope again warned of the axe falling on Mumbai’s lifelines – the suburban trains and buses – and reiterated that people strictly remain indoors as ‘isolation’ is the key to battling the COVID-19 virus. Also Read - Coronavirus: Beaches in Chennai, Two More Districts to Remain Shut on Weekends
“If the people don’t heed and continue to use public transport unnecessarily, we have to think otherwise. Even the rush of the working class to the railway stations to return to their native states is concerning,” Tope told mediapersons.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray – who slapped a total ban on private offices, slashing attendance in government offices to 25 percent and statewide cancellation of Class I-VIII exams – will tour some railway stations before taking a final decision to shut down public transport.
“A rise from 52 to 63 in a day is big. People’s cooperation is needed to fight this calamity. We are in Phase II and maybe headed for Phase III. The spread is mostly ‘imported’ through people who came from abroad,” Tope said.
With Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar in regular touch with the Centre, he said the state has sought clearance to allow private labs to conduct tests within stringent norms.
Among the ongoing measures, the government has postponed all planned surgeries in civic, public health and medical college hospitals to divert all medical resources to fighting Coronavirus, 7000 quarantine beds added in the state besides 250 isolated beds.
He assured that there would be no shortage of funds to tackle the ‘war against virus’ in the state.
On Friday, the government had slapped a total ban on all non-essential services in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur as a measure to reduce crowds.
(With agency inputs)