COVID-19 Surge In Maharashtra A Worrisome Trend, Says Centre

New Delhi: The COVID-19 situation in Maharashtra, which is witnessing an intense second wave, is a ‘worrisome trend’, said senior officials of the Central government on Thursday.

In a weekly press briefing of the Union Health Ministry, VK Paul, member, Health, Niti Aayog, who also heads the national COVID-19 task force, said, “We are very worried about Maharashtra.”

“This has two lessons: Don’t take the virus for granted and if we have to remain COVID-free, we need to follow appropriate behaviour, containment strategy, and vaccination,” the TNIE quoted Paul as saying.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the active COVID-19 cases have more than doubled in Maharashtra. Some other states such as Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh are at a tipping point, he added.

ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava put the blame on slackness on part of the administration and people. “Maharashtra has shown a worrisome trend. The mutant strain has not been found in this surge in cases. It is related to reduced testing, tracking and tracing and Covid inappropriate behaviour and large congregations,” he said.

Maharashtra had nearly 37,000 active cases on February 11 and crossed 1 lakh mark a month later, according to the Centre’s data. On Wednesday, the state recorded 13,659 fresh cases, the highest one-day spike this year, taking the total caseload to 22,52,057.

The state has so far reported 52,610 deaths due to the disease, as per the official tally.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra has postponed the state civil service preliminary examination for the 5th time in 12 months.

“The March 14 exams of Maharashtra Public Service Commission were postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Since there are lots of administrative issues involved in the current situation, the exams shall not be held this Sunday. However, the Chief Secretary shall announce the new date on Friday,” said chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.


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