India

Maharashtra arms itself for war against virus during monsoon

Mumbai, May 30 (IANS) With the monsoon round-the-corner, the Maharashtra government has adopted a comprehensive programme to combat the Covid-19 during the four wet months, officials said here on Saturday.

This includes augmenting the Covid-19 bed strength to around 2.90 lakh, plus over 8,500 ICU beds spread across Mumbai, Thane, Pune and other major hotspots around the state to cater to the anticipated mega spike in cases.

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Besides, more than 3,000 ventilators, around half a million PPE kits and one million N95 masks are ready for the medical and para-medical staff in various hospitals, as the monsoon challenge looms ahead.

“We are focusing not only on reducing the number of Covid-19 cases but also concentrating on prevention of other common monsoon-related ailments to prevent fresh burdens on the already stressed healthcare system,” said a health ministry official.

For instance, to curb vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue, chikungunya and water-borne diseases like gastrointestinal infections, jaundice and leptospirosis among many others, massive preventive measures are being taken across the state, particularly in Mumbai,Thane, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and Nagpur.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed all departments and local bodies to be well-prepared for the monsoon, especially Mumbai and the Konkan regions of Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, which bear the brunt of heavy rains.

BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has held a series of review meetings with the civic officials besides the Central Railway and Western Railway officers ahead of the rains, while the IMD has given a briefing to the state government.

Boosting the morale of the health workers, Thackeray has announced a huge hike in emoluments ranging between Rs 55,000-Rs 85,000 to various categories of doctors on bond or on contract, especially those serving in the rural and tribal areas.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has said that the Rs 50 lakh insurance cover available for healthcare workers will now be extended to all those engaged in the war against the virus including the police, home guards, aanganwadi workers, besides doctors, nurses and paramedics.

The Maharashtra Covid-19 dashboard shows 2,098 deaths and 62,228 patients while Mumbai has recorded 1,173 fatalities and 36,932 cases till date.

–IANS

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