The Maharashtra government said on Monday that there would be no difference between degrees that are granted to students during the Covid-19 period and similar certificates obtained earlier, PTI. “University degree certificates will be the same as they used to be and no separate certificates will be given to students,” Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant said.

Samant told reporters in Nagpur that the government will take action against private companies or industries if they discount degrees conferred during the coronavirus period.

Samant also said that recruitment of teachers in universities will resume once the coronavirus situation improves. “The government has not stopped the recruitment,” he said. “The Government Resolution dated April 4, 2020 to stop recruitment due to Covid-19 pandemic is not a permanent GR. It will be withdrawn after the pandemic period gets over, and recruitment will start again once the situation becomes normal.”

Dead bodies to be subjected to rapid antigen tests

The Maharashtra government has also decided that any dead body brought to a government hospital will be subjected to a rapid antigen test for the coronavirus, The Indian Express reported. Unidentified health officials said that since the rapid antigen test results arrive in an hour, disposal of dead bodies can be sped up.

The Indian Council of Medical Research has said in its guidelines that bodies of suspected Covid-19 patients brought to the hospital may be labelled as medico legal cases by the doctor in emergency, and sent to the mortuary. The police can then initiate a medico legal autopsy to determine the cause of death. Thus, forensic autopsy of these bodies is not required.

BMC to initiate ‘My Family, My Responsibility’ campaign in Mumbai

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Mumbai’s civic body, will initiate the “My Family, My Responsibility” campaign from Tuesday as part of the state’s government effort to check the health status of 26 lakh families in Mumbai, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Hindustan Times reported. The first phase of the campaign will end on October 10 and the second phase will take place from October 12 to 24.

In the first phase of the initiative, the government has set a target of reaching 2.25 crore families twice a month. This will be done with help from non-governmental organisations and elected representatives of the people.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday asked government officials to ensure the success of the campaign. Thackeray interacted with all divisional commissioners and district collectors via video conferencing. Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar and other government officials attended the meeting too.

Thackeray said that though the government machinery had been working 24x7 over the last six months to contain the disease, the danger was not yet past. Thackeray added that the government was unlocking the state in a staggered manner, and that living with the coronavirus was now a reality one had to face. “Ensuring that no one gets infected by the disease is the key mantra and our squads will reach out to households to inform people on this,” a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office quoted Thackeray as saying.

Maharashtra has by far the highest number of coronavirus cases in India. As of Tuesday, the state had reported 1,077,374 cases of Covid-19, including 29,894 deaths and 7,55,850 recoveries, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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