Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday called on all retired army personnel with any experience of healthcare to join the containment efforts of the state administration.
“I want to appeal to all retired army personnel, who have experience of medical field, nurses, ward boys and those who have completed the training but didn’t work for some reason—you must come forward to join us. Maharashtra needs you,” Thackeray said.
On Wednesday, authorities made it compulsory to wear face masks in Mumbai when in public areas, making the city the first to implement such a rule.
On Wednesday, two new coronavirus cases emerged in Mumbai’s Dharavi, taking the total number of cases in the slum to nine, Maharashtra government officials said.
The focus remains on containing the spread from hotspots in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, added the officials.
In Mumbai, Worli Koliwada is the only hotspot so far with a large number of cases. There is no other declared hotspot yet, although Dharavi remains a cause for worry.
On Wednesday, Maharashtra’s tally of positive cases jumped to 1,078 with Mumbai and Pune reporting the highest number of cases.
Maharashtra is the only Indian state to have registered more than 1,000 positive cases so far.
Despite the spike in cases, government officials have ruled out the possibility community transmission of the virus so far.
In neighbouring Pune, no hotspots have emerged so far, said the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, even as it sealed some areas on Tuesday suspecting a number of positive cases.
Thergaon, Kharalwadi, Digh and Chikhli sector 12 are among the areas that have been sealed.
Around 85% of covid-19 cases have been reported from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Pune district. MMR includes Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.
On Monday, 92 staff members of the DY Patil Hospital in Pune were quarantined after an accident victim, who was being treated at the facility, tested positive for covid-19. All the 92 staff members have since tested negative.
Maharashtra is also classifying containment zones as simple zones (one case) and cluster containment zones (three-five cases) and creating a buffer zone around these containment zones.
“We’re testing all close and high-risk contacts. So far, we’ve been testing the symptomatic people and doing large-scale household surveys. These containment zones are being set up wherever there are cases,” said Dr Anup Kumar Yadav, state health commissioner of Maharashtra.
On testing, Yadav said that it is a large-scale exercise and there will be some issues. “But at the end, we will make sure that everybody is tested and isolated for the necessary quarantine period.”