February 18, 2021 3:39:43 am
Authorities in Vidarbha have started a rigorous drive to strictly enforce Covid-19 restrictions in view of the rising number of positive cases in the region.
The daily total number of positive cases has been increasing alarmingly over the past about fortnight in almost all the 11 districts of the region, forcing the authorities to tighten adherence to Covid-19 restrictions, which people had become slack about. Vidarbha had seen the Covid-19 numbers drop from a high of over 90,000 cases in September 2020 to a low of over 21,000 in January. In February, till Wednesday, the number has already crossed 15,500. This despite the fact that the total number of new cases was just 448 on February 1.
The most affected districts in the region are Amravati and Nagpur, which are witnessing daily detection of over 400 to over 500 cases over the past few days. On Wednesday, Amravati reported 498 new positive cases and six deaths while Nagpur reported 596 cases and five deaths.
The daily death toll has been hovering between 10 and 20 in February with the highest, 16, registered on February 9. On Tuesday, the toll was 12 for the 11 districts taken together while the same was 18 on Wednesday.
In the peak month of September, the daily number of deaths had crossed 100 on some days. The region’s fatality rate (2.48 per cent) is almost at par with the state’s average while the recovery rate is around 94 per cent, slightly less than the state’s average of over 96 per cent.
“We have increased contact tracing per patient from about six persons to 15 persons. Raids and searches are being carried out at marriage venues and other gatherings to check if permissible limits of participants’ numbers is being adhered to or not. The venue owner will be penalised for any violations in this regard. Similarly, social distancing and use of masks is also now being strictly implemented,” said Amravati Divisional Commissioner Piyush Singh.
He added that schools and coaching classes have already been ordered closed in the division. Colleges have not been allowed to open till now.
Singh also informed that the number of tests have also been increased from about 400 per day to 2,500 in Amravati district, with a similar increase in other districts of the division like Akola, Buldana, Washim and Yavatmal.
“We have found that people supposed to be in home isolation have been carelessly moving out. So, we are now pasting notices on their houses saying that the house has a Covid-19 patient. This would deter them from venturing out and would also alert others about the risks they face from the violators,” he added.
Singh, however, said, “There is no such thing as a partial lockdown. It’s just that the rules are being strictly implemented.” He said most of the patients have been coming from urban areas and the rural parts of the division are still relatively unaffected by the latest surge of cases.
“Moreover, only about 1 per cent of the patients are on ventilator. For example, in Amravati district, we have only 25 people on ventilators. Over 80 per cent people are in home isolation… 2200 are in home isolation. The number of deaths hasn’t increased much in proportion to the increased number of positive cases,” he said.
Meanwhile, as new strains of the coronavirus emerge, Amravati Civil Surgeon Shyamsundar Nikam said, “We have sent five samples to National Institute of Virology, Pune, on Wednesday to ascertain whether a new strain has been circulating in the region.”
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