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Maharashtra: State will ask medical stores to maintain record of those buying Covid home test kits, says Ajit Pawar

Ajit Pawar said those buying home test kits were not reporting results to the health authorities, thus creating a “dark spot” in the government’s monitoring of the spread of the infection and creating hurdles in its endevour to arrest the spread of the virus.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: January 16, 2022 10:38:15 pm
Pune Covid-19, Pune covid restriction, Pune covid curbs, Ajit Pawar, Covid new variant, Pune cinema halls, Pune restaurants, Pune, Pune news, Indian express, Indian express news, Pune latest newsDeputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar. (File Photo)

The Maharashtra government will make it mandatory for medical store operators to keep records of those who buy Covid-19 home test kits and share them with municipal authorities, to help government agencies monitor the spread of the infection, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said in Pune on Saturday.

Pawar said those buying home test kits were not reporting results to the health authorities, thus creating a “dark spot” in the government’s monitoring of the spread of the infection and creating hurdles in its endevour to arrest the spread of the virus.

“Many medical stores are selling self-testing kits for Covid infection. Many local residents are using these kits. If they test themselves at a government facility or a private lab, these numbers get reported to the government. However, the government is completely in the dark about infections detected by those who use the self-test kits at home. The government is moving towards making it mandatory for medical store operators to record the names and contact details of the buyer and share them with the respective civic body. The civic body will have to call up the person and enquire about the results, so that new detections are recorded and the patients are provided requisite help,” said Pawar, who is the guardian minister of Pune district.

Pune district has recorded 30,012 new Covid-19 cases over the last week. Officials said that compared to the last two waves of infections, the daily death count in the third wave has remained low. Of the total cases, 1,752 patients were hospitalised and very few have required oxygen (146) and ventilator support (49).

Pawar said the administration was ready to re-operationalise all three jumbo hospitals – located in Avsari, Shivajinagar and Pimpri – and have asked the contracted agencies to recruit staff after the agencies complained of staff shortage.

“During the last two waves, we were getting funds from the National Health Mission to use for this purpose. However, those funds have stopped so we decided to make allotments through the State Disaster Relief Fund. Only a few days ago, Rs 9 crore was granted as relief for Pune district,” said Pawar.

“All three jumbo hospitals are ready to be operationalised. After the end of the second wave last year, there were proposals to dismantle them. But we decided to keep them standing considering the possibility of a resurgence of the virus. Had we dismantled them, it would have been a wrong decision,” he said.

Pawar said that although the administration was closely watching the spread of the infection in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad cities, it had no plans to impose no new restrictions as yet.

“The norms announced by the Chief Minister statewide will remain in effect. There was a detailed discussion on this topic but we have decided not to impose any district-specific restrictions in Pune. We will review the situation again next week and will take an appropriate decision,” said Pawar.

“The medical oxygen consumption in Pune district is 89 metric tonnes at present. It’s much lower than the supply. The situation is similar state-wide,” he added.

 

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