Reducing Maharashtra’s COVID-19 mortality rate is govt’s priority: Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said that his government’s focus was to reduce the mortality rate of COVID-19 patients and increase the period during which the number of positive cases double. He made the remarks during his video-conference interaction with the members of two central teams that toured Mumbai and Pune cities, the two coronavirus hotspots in the state.

The teams took a review of the medical machinery, implementation of the lockdown measures and social distancing, safety of health workers and situation of labourers in shelter camps, supply of essential goods, among other things.

A statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said that Thackeray told the teams that reducing the mortality rate of COVID-19 patients and increasing the period of doubling of positive cases were his government’s focus.

At present, the period of doubling of patients in the state is seven days, which has to be increased to more than 10 days, Thackeray told the teams.

He asked the state administration to take into consideration all the suggestions made by the central teams.

The teams expressed satisfaction that the government was carrying out more tests to detect the positive cases.

The statement said that 78.9 per cent of the patients, who died due to the infection, had other ailments and were in the age group of 51 to 60 years.

Additional Secretary Manoj Joshi is leading the five- member team in Mumbai, while the Pune team is being led by Sanjay Malhotra, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Power.

Thackeray said that PPE kits may be required in additional numbers at a later stage and it is important that the central government makes them available expeditiously.

At the local level, some companies are manufacturing PPE kits, for which the central government guidelines are necessary, he said.

He also said that the state administration should follow all the guidelines given by the central teams.

Joshi suggested that institutional quarantine facilities should be increased. He also called for the need to have focused testing, hygiene in slum pockets, shifting of quarantine facilities from congested areas, like Dharavi, to other places, starting nursing homes and private dispensaries.

Stating that there are complaints that non-COVID-19 patients are suffering due to the unavailability of medical facilities, Thackeray asked the authorities to take steps so that such things do not happen. He also instructed them to start nursing homes and clinics for other patients soon.

Maharashtra Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta told the central teams that the state is conducting COVID-19 tests six times more than being done in Kerala.

Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi said 4,270 persons per 10 lakh population are being tested in the metropolis.

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