Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday expressed concerns over the state government’s failure to increase coronavirus tests in Maharashtra, due to which there was a rise in Covid-19 cases in September.
In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, he said there was an urgent need to focus on increasing the number of tests in the state to bring the situation under control and get the wheels of the economy moving.
In his letter, Fadnavis pointed out that in July a daily average of 37,528 Covid-19 tests were conducted, while 64,801 tests were done in August – an increase of 42 per cent. In September, however, the number of tests went up by 26 per cent at 88,209.
Fadnavis said during an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thackeray had assured that his government would increase the tests to 1.5 lakh. “But the statistics show it is way below the promised numbers,” he wrote.
Of the total number of Covid-19 tests conducted in April, the infection percentage that month was 8.04 per cent. It rose to 18.07 per cent in May, and 21.23 per cent in July, but came down to 18.44 per cent in August due to increased number of tests, Fadnavis said.
“However, the state again decreased the number of tests in September and the infection percentage jumped to 22.37 per cent, highest in the last six months,” the leader of opposition in the state assembly said.
Fadnavis pointed out that the scenario in Mumbai was no better. “The state’s daily average of Covid-19 test in Mumbai is merely 11,715. It resulted in the infection percentage jumping from 13.63 per cent in August to 17.50 in September. Even national capital Delhi has increased its daily tests to 40,000,” he said.
In Vidarbha, he said, the number of cases increased exponentially. “But there is a mismatch between cases and number of tests. In Bhandara, cases increased by 663 per cent between August and September. Gondia saw 496 per cent rise, Chandrapur 570 per cent and Gadchiroli 465 per cent rise in cases,” he said.
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