Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that the state could be hit by the second wave of the coronavirus as more people were going out for work, PTI reported.
In a virtual meeting with ministers and government officials, Thackeray called for stricter compliance of the coronavirus-related guidelines. He expressed concern over asymptomatic patients venturing out without taking necessary precautions and spreading the infection.
“In Britain, asymptomatic positive patients are treated at home, but they are checked every day,” he said. “They are shifted to hospitals, if needed. We are allowing asymptomatic patients to remain under home quarantine, but they are moving out and infecting others.”
Maharashtra is the worst affected state by the pandemic in India. It has so far reported 13,21,176 coronavirus cases and the toll stood at 35,191, according to the Union health ministry.
Thackeray also said there was a need to increase mass awareness as well as tracing and testing. He said that the government’s “My family, My Responsibility” campaign should become a health movement not just in India but across the globe.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Mumbai’s civic body, started the “My Family, My Responsibility” campaign on September 16 as part of the state’s government effort to check the health status of 26 lakh families in Mumbai and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The first phase of the campaign will end on October 10 and the second phase will take place from October 12 to 24.
“The ‘My Family My Responsibility’ movement has gained momentum across the state,” the chief minister’s office tweeted after the meeting. “We must focus on public awareness and testing and ensure that the patients get timely treatment. Citizens’ participation in the campaign is crucial.”
The chief minister stressed on the need to follow proper protocol in the treatment of coronavirus patients and said only medical prescriptions should be used. He directed the district-level coronavirus task force to maintain contact with the state-level task force and said that the number of RT-PCR or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test needs to be increased. “If results of antigen tests [for any person] return negative and symptoms prevail, then RT-PCR test is required and two swab samples need to be taken,” he said.
The chief minister said that folk artists should be hired to spread awareness about the virus in different dialects.
Earlier in August, Thackeray had said that the state 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 said.