Hold subdued Holi celebrations: CM

Under supervision: Foreign tourists leave the civic-run Kasturba Hospital, which has been designated as the main isolation facility for COVID-19 in the city, on Thursday.

Under supervision: Foreign tourists leave the civic-run Kasturba Hospital, which has been designated as the main isolation facility for COVID-19 in the city, on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

BMC sets up control room with 20 personnel, one doctor to crowdsource information

With the total number of positive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) rising in the country, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday appealed to the people of the State to hold subdued Holi celebrations and avoid large gatherings.

As of Thursday, 69,502 passengers from 586 flights have been screened at the Mumbai international airport. Passengers are also being screened at Pune and Nagpur airports. So far, 474 passengers have arrived in the State from affected countries. Of them, 187 passengers have been admitted to isolation wards and 174 have tested negative for COVID-19. The medical reports of the remaining 13 are expected soon. As many as 170 passengers have been discharged. Of the remaining, 12 are undergoing treatment in Mumbai, three in Nashik and one in Nanded.

Mr. Thackeray said in the Assembly, “I have been reviewing the situation every alternate day. Initially, testing was possible only at the National Institute of Virology in Pune. Now, tests are being conducted in Mumbai and Nagpur too. Do not panic. I have given instructions to screen all passengers and conservancy staff at airports. I have told the Health Department to create as much awareness as possible.”

Citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s example in containing the spread of COVID-19, Mr. Thackeray said, “Yes, the Prime Minister has said he will not be celebrating Holi. During the swine flu outbreak, I had instructed mandals not to celebrate Dahi Handi. Similarly, Holi is important, but I am appealing to you to take precautions. Do not crowd unnecessarily.”

Addressing a press conference in the evening, the Chief Minister said, “Novel coronavirus has not gripped Maharashtra. There is not a single positive case here. There is no shortage of N95 masks, but the general public need not wear masks; only medical staff need them.”

Meanwhile, the Health Department reiterated that no one has tested positive for COVID-19 in the State so far. Authorities said more medical staff, even from private hospitals, would be deployed at airports. Five-star hotels have been instructed to report passengers from affected countries and steps have been taken to prevent hoarding of N95 masks.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided be put up billboards with dos and don’ts at railway stations and schools. BMC commissioner Praveen Pardeshi, who was present at the press conference, said, “We have set up a control room with 20 personnel and one doctor to crowdsource information. If anyone who has come from abroad is sick then acquaintances can report them to the control room by dialling 1916.”

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 11:15:49 AM |

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