Seeing a steady rise in the number of daily COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, the union health ministry expressed concern, Niti Aayog member (health) VK Paul said: “We are very worried about Maharashtra — across several districts. We have seen their names. As we came here, we came to know that a very strict lockdown is being imposed in Nagpur in particularly. So we are reaching a situation where those approaches are being brought back. This is a very serious issue for us”.
According to Paul, two lessons can be learnt from the sudden rise of COVID-19 cases: “One, don’t take the virus for granted. It can come up unexpectedly. We still don’t know part of its dynamics. It also tells us that if we want to remain free from this virus, we need to adhere to all Covid-19 appropriate guidelines. This also includes vaccination.”
Paul also suggested that: “The vaccination in areas that are emerging as hotspots should be intensified or prioritized.”
As per the health ministry, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Nashik, Jalgaon, Aurangabad, Ernakulam and Bengaluru Urban are the 10 districts with the highest number of active COVID-19 cases.
Rajesh Bhushan, The Health Secretary stated that: Out of these 10 districts, eight are in Maharashtra. There is a rise in active cases, which had declined as low as 1.35 lakh on February 12.”
“On September 18, 2020, the country had more than 10 lakh active cases. From 10 lakh we came down in January and further in February and now the graph is rising again,” he added.
The Current Status
Since mid-Feb, Maharashtra has been witnessing a spike in the number of fresh COVID-19 cases. The Nagpur administration announced a strict lockdown from March 15 to 21, during which only essential services will be allowed. With all private offices remaining closed, the government offices will work at 25 per cent capacity. As far as other districts are concerned, Amravati, Pune and Jalgaon also imposed local restrictions to contain the spread of the virus.