COVID-19: Maharashtra has 8 of 10 worst-hit districts in India, says Centre
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Sir J. J. Hospital in Mumbai on March 11, 2021.IANS

COVID-19: Maharashtra has 8 of 10 worst-hit districts in India, says Centre

Mumbai, March 11, 2021

Hours after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray warned of a lockdown in some areas because of a spike in the number of cases in recent days, the Centre on Thursday pointed out that eight of the ten worst-hit districts in the country are in the state.

While Pune tops with the most new cases, Nagpur, Thane, Mumbai, Amravati, Jalgaon, Nashik, and Aurangabad are the other districts of the state with highest Covid-19 cases in the country, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a NITI Aayog Covid-19 status presentation here.

Active COVID-19 cases touched the lowest mark in mid-February, but since then Maharashtra, along with Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana, have shown an increase in the numbers.

However, Indian Council of Medical Research Director General, Balram Bhargava said despite Maharashtra showing a "worrisome trend", there are no mutant strains of the SARS-COV-2 found in the cases surging in the state.

"The surge (in Maharashtra) is just related to the reduced number of testing, tracking and tracing as well as Covid-inappropriate behaviour and large gatherings," he said.

Bhushan added that despite the rise in active cases in the country, the daily death count has remained low.

Thackeray had said earlier in the day that a "lockdown is required in some places" to curb the spread of the virus and that a decision in this regard would be taken in the next few days.

Interacting with the media briefly after taking the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Sir J.J. Hospital here this afternoon, Thackeray pointed out that cases are continuing to increase in many places in the state, including Mumbai, Nashik, Pune, Akola, and Nagpur Circles.

"People must take all precautions and follow the protocols strictly. All those who are eligible for the vaccine at this stage must take it," he said.

Curbs and restrictions in some or other forms are already implemented in Pune (night curfew), Nagpur (near-total lockdown), Aurangabad, Palghar, Thane, Akola, Amravati, with District Collectors authorised to take the call as the local situation warrants.

On Wednesday, Maharashtra reported 13,659 fresh cases - the highest daily tally since 13,395 cases recorded on October 8, 2020.

The state has touched a progressive total of 22,52,057 cases till date and 52,610 deaths -- both highest in India -- and the count increasing afresh since the past two weeks.

IANS

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