Central team suggests total lockdown in 2 Maharashtra districts
A central team of experts has reportedly suggested a total lockdown in two Maharashtra districts, where transmission of the coronavirus has not reduced despite undertaking a series of measures. The two districts are Kolhapur and Sangli. The central team that visited the two districts reportedly wanted to understand as to why the number of infections is not declining further. Here are more details.
Central team's emphasis on testing, tracing, vaccination
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said there are 10 districts where the positivity rate is higher as compared to the rest of the state, The Indian Express reported. "Central team that visited some of them has emphasized measures like testing, contact tracing, and vaccination...We are following all protocols," Tope added. However, health authorities are yet to receive a report from central team members.
What do experts say on this trend?
National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director Dr. Sujeet Singh said that authorities were exploring whether there was a variant of concern due to which the infections were not declining further. Dr. Shashank Joshi, an expert with the state COVID-19 task force, also expressed his concerns over the rising number of infections in districts such as Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Pune rural, Ahmednagar, and Nandurbar.
Something is not going right: Dr. Joshi
"The entire Western belt of Maharashtra is a cause of concern," Dr. Joshi said. "We have an active virus in circulation and something is not going right," he went on to add.
Maharashtra reported 6K new cases, 66 deaths yesterday
Maharashtra's coronavirus tally jumped to 62,20,207 on Monday after 6,017 more people tested positive for the infection. Similarly, the death toll due to COVID-19 has reached 1,27,097 with 66 patients succumbing to the virus on Monday. Maharashtra's recovery rate and fatality rate stood at 96.35% and 2.04% respectively. Significantly, Hingoli, Wardha, and Bhandara districts did not report any new infections on Monday.
Government and experts warn against third wave
Even as India's daily infections have declined since the second wave in May, both government and experts have warned that a third wave of pandemic is imminent. Last week, NITI Aayog member Dr. VK Paul said that the next 100-125 days are critical for the fight against COVID-19. Similar warnings have also been issued by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and SBI Research recently.