New Delhi: As the number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 23,000-mark on Friday, the Union Home Ministry sent four new inter-ministerial central teams (IMCTs) to monitor implementation of lockdown, supply of essential goods and other related issues in 3 states–Gujarat, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. Headed by additional Secretary-level officers, these teams comprise public health specialists and officers of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) whose expertise can be leveraged by the state government for management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - What Are The Main Shields Against All Mutants, Future Waves of COVID? Experts Answer

The teams will be deployed in Ahmedabad and Surat (in Gujarat), Hyderabad in Telangana, Tamil Nadu state capital Chennai, Home Ministry Joint Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava informed, adding that the central teams will be in addition to six already constituted. “The novel coronavirus situation is “especially serious” in Ahmedabad, Surat, Thane, Hyderabad and Chennai which are considered among major hotspots districts or emerging hotspots districts across the country”, the Home Ministry  official told reporters. Also Read - Delhi Hospital's 80 Staff Infected From COVID Within A Month; Surgeon Succumbs

Earlier on April 20, six teams were deployed in 11 cities in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal to review the implementation of the lockdown measures after the assessment of ground situation in identified select districts.The team had visited Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Mumbai and Pune (Maharashtra), Jaipur (Rajasthan) and Kolkata, Howrah, Medinipur East, 24 Parganas North, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal.

Two central teams sent to Kolkata and Jalpaiguri had accused the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government of non-cooperation. On the other hand, defending herself, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that it was against the spirit of federalism since the state government had not been consulted before such a move.

The Trinamool Congress had also raised question on the government that why no team was sent to states like Gujarat, which is the second worst-affected state in India due to COVID-19 after Maharashtra.