Maharashtra reports 7,761 COVID-19 cases, prohibitory orders enforced in tourist-picnic spots

By PTI
MUMBAI: Maharashtra on Friday reported 7,761 new COVID-19 cases and 167 deaths which took the state’s infection tally to 61,97,018 and the death toll to 1,26,727, the health department said.

As many as 13,452 patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the total of recovered persons to 59,65,644.

The state has a recovery rate of 96.27 per cent.

The case fatality rate was 2.04 per cent, while there are 1,01,337 active cases in the state, the official release said.

There are 5,85,967 people in home quarantine while 4,576 people are in institutional quarantine.

With 2,15,406 samples tested since Thursday evening, the tally of coronavirus tests conducted in the state rose to 4,50,39,617.

Mumbai city reported 443 COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths, taking the caseload to 7,30,234 and the death toll to 15,678.

The larger Mumbai division that covers neighbouring satellite towns reported 1,454 cases and 32 deaths.

The division’s case tally rose to 16,22,947 and death toll to 33,202.

Nashik division reported 709 cases and 20 deaths, while the Pune division added 2,287 cases and 51 deaths.

Out of 51 deaths, 18 were reported from Pune City and 14 from Satara district.

Kolhapur division added 2,818 cases and 40 deaths.

As many as 1,085 new infections were reported in the rural parts of Kolhapur district alone.

Aurangabad division reported 96 cases and 10 deaths, while Latur division recorded 251 cases and five deaths.

Akola division reported 38 cases and two deaths while Nagpur division recorded 108 new cases and seven deaths.

Coronavirus figures of Maharashtra are as follows: Total cases 61,97,018; new cases 7,761; total deaths 1,26,727; recoveries 59,65,644; active cases 1,01,337; total tests so far 4,50,39,617.

Prohibitory orders have been imposed in several tourist spots in Pune district in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said on Friday.

These spots include Bhushi dam, various points in Lonavala and Khandala, Sinhgad Fort, Panshet, Varasgaon dam among others, they said.

The order issued by Collector Rajesh Deshmukh stated that people come in large numbers to picnic and tourists spots located in Maval, Mulshi, Haveli, Ambegaon, Junnar, Bhor, and Velha tehsils, leading to mask and social distancing norm violations.

“To avoid any untoward incident and to tame the spread of the virus, it is imperative to impose prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC and Disaster Management Act in these seven tehsils. The assembly of more than five people has been restricted and people are not allowed to venture into the water bodies and go under the waterfalls,” the order said.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday asked district collectors to be in touch with the industrial sector to ensure the state’s economic cycle and livelihood of citizens does not get disturbed due to a possible third wave of COVID-19.

Speaking to collectors and civic chiefs through video-conferencing, Thackeray said they must prepare a comprehensive plan to ensure economic activities continue in case of a third wave of infections.

The CM said industrial units should set up temporary accommodation for staff within the factory premises, and collectors should help them find suitable places and arrange for transport in cases where the first option is not possible.

Expressing concern over the rise in cases in some districts, the CM asked authorities to increase tests, stop crowding and ensure people adhere to outbreak norms.

State faces tough questions on vaccination campaign

A separate drive will be undertaken to inoculate more than 2,000 persons in Mumbai who became the victims of bogus COVID-19 vaccination camps, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) told the Bombay High Court on Friday.

Senior advocate Anil Sakhre, the civic body’s lawyer, said that of 2,053 people who were duped at these privately-organized camps, 1,636 were checked.

“1,636 people reached out to us and we checked them. They were not found to have any side effects or health problems. Police report says saline water was given to them instead of a vaccine,” he told the HC.

“We have asked the Central Government to de-register the victims from the CoWin portal and re-register them. We will have a drive soon for vaccinating them,” he said.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer Siddharth Chandrashekhar through advocate Anita Castellino.

The PIL sought greater access to vaccine doses and resolution of the problems faced by people while booking slots on the CoWin portal.

On July 2, the BMC had told the court that it had formulated draft guidelines to prevent fake vaccination camps.

A racket which organized bogus vaccination at housing societies, private firms and educational institutions in the name of reputed hospitals came to light last month and several people were arrested.

The court had asked the Maharashtra government to inform about the status of the police probe.

Chief Public Prosecutor Aruna Pai said a charge sheet will be filed within two weeks in the first FIR which is related to the duping of a housing society in suburban Kandivali.

“The corporation is expected to keep a vigil on all such drives in future. It must also ensure that vaccination for victims is not delayed,” the HC said.

Thr court on Friday said it was not satisfied with the Maharashtra government’s progress on framing guidelines for door-to-door vaccination against COVID-19 for senior citizens and bed-ridden persons.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni said it expects the government to frame the guidelines by July 20.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the court that information was sought from the public across the state via social media on bed-ridden persons who wish to get the jab at their residence.

“Till date, we have received 13,584 responses,” he said.

The court noted that the number was not big and said the government should give wide publicity to the proposal in newspapers.

The court also noted that by now the government ought to have framed its guidelines or a policy on the issue.

“We want appropriate guidelines. By now, you (state government) should have framed a policy. Otherwise, the vaccination drive gets delayed. We are not satisfied with the progress,” the court said.

The bench said it expects the government to come up with the guidelines by July 20.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by two advocates, Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari, seeking a direction to the Union and the state governments to start door-to-door vaccination for senior citizens above the age of 75, specially abled persons and those who are bed-ridden.

The PIL contended that these persons were unable to go to the vaccination centres.

The court will hear the petition further on July 20.