Mumbai’s civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s mayor Kishori Pednekar on Saturday called for a complete lockdown in the city considering the current Covid-19 situation, reported ANI.
Fresh curbs were implemented in the state from Wednesday for 15 days, with the state government imposing a ban on gatherings of more than four residents. Only essential services will be allowed to operate during this period. Restaurants can only offer take-aways and home delivery.
Till Friday evening, Mumbai reported 8,839 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the city’s tally to 5,61,998. The toll reached 12,242 after 53 more fatalities, according to BMC’s data. Maharashtra’s count rose to 37,03,584 lakh with 63,729 infections and the toll climbed to 59,551 after 398 new deaths were reported in 24 hours.
“Ninety-five per cent of Mumbaikars are adhering to Covid-19 restrictions,” Pednekar said on Saturday. “The remaining 5% of people who are not following restrictions are causing problems to others.”
Pednekar also criticised those returning from the Kumbh Mela, which is being held till April 30 in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. “Those returning from Kumbh Mela to their respective states will distribute corona[virus] as ‘prasad [offering]’,” she told ANI. “All these people should be quarantined in their respective states at their own cost. In Mumbai also, we are thinking of putting them under quarantine on their return.”
Meanwhile, Maharashtra relaxed the rules on fortnightly random RT-PCR – reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction – tests for domestic workers, hotel staff and delivery persons as it has put a strain on laboratories, reported The Times of India.
State Relief and Rehabilitation Secretary Aseem Kumar Gupta told the newspaper that the new orders did not include the 15-day testing policy. “If the local authorities have made them mandatory, they should revise it,” he said. “As the Covid-19 positivity rate is high in the state, only genuine cases need to be tested. Those having symptoms should get themselves tested.”
The Bombay High Court’s Nagpur Bench has ruled that positive Covid-19 test reports should be sent to patients immediately through WhatsApp and that hard copies should also be made available, reported Live Law on Saturday. The court, hearing its suo motu plea, said that once a Covid-19 patient is given the report, it must be uploaded on the Indian Council of Medical Research website in 24 hours.
The bench of Justices ZA Haq and MA Borkar said a negative Covid-19 test report may be uploaded within a week. “If these directions are not complied with by laboratories, the authorities will be free to take appropriate action against the concerned laboratories, as deemed fit by the concerned authority,” the court added.
On Friday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a review meeting on the Covid-19 situation in Mumbai. Thackeray asked officials to ensure that the state’s residents received their Covid-19 test reports quickly. He had also reviewed the medical oxygen supply chain along with bed and medicine management.
A day later, the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office claimed that it had contacted the Prime Minister’s Office about the acute shortage of medical oxygen and anti-viral drug remdesivir but was told that Modi was campaigning in West Bengal. There has been no response from Modi regarding the allegations, but Union minister Piyush Goyal has rejected the statement from Thackeray’s office.