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Coronavirus | Maharashtra lauds Central teams’ visit to Mumbai, Pune

Moving at snail’s pace: Several vehicles line up at Dahisar toll plaza despite the lockdown, on Monday.

Moving at snail’s pace: Several vehicles line up at Dahisar toll plaza despite the lockdown, on Monday.  

The Maharashtra government has welcomed the Centre’s decision to constitute two inter-ministerial Central teams (IMCTs) to assess the State’s response to what it calls a ‘concerning and serious’ situation in Mumbai and Pune.

The State government had last week in a meeting between Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, and Health Minister Rajesh Tope constituted its own task force for better implementation of lockdown measures in COVID-19 hotspots. The focus of the State machinery, officials said, has already moved from the rest of Maharashtra to Mumbai and Pune.

State officials confirmed that the team arriving in Mumbai on Monday night would be headed by Manoj Joshi, additional secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries. The other four team members are hand-picked from the Ministry of Public Health and Family Welfare, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Similarly, the team visiting Pune on Tuesday morning will be headed by Sanjay Malhotra, additional secretary, Ministry of Power, while the other four members have been chosen from NDMA and the Ministry of Food and Public Distribution.

“Maharashtra’s implementation of lockdown measures has resulted in registration of 50,000 offences across the State. Since our focus has been Mumbai and Pune, we have given maximum authority to local corporations in both cities to procure rapid testing kits — aside from waiting for the Centre to provide all assistance. We will present all the available data to the teams,” an official said.

The Central teams have been tasked with assessing ‘compliance and implementation’ of lockdown measures as per guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The IMCTs’ scope of assessment includes supply of essential commodities, social distancing measures, preparedness of health infrastructure, hospital facilities and sample statistics in the districts, safety of health professionals and availability of test kits, personal protective equipment kits, and condition of relief camps for migrant labourers.

“In some districts, wide violations of lockdown measures have been reported, posing a serious health hazard and risk of spread of COVID-19. After analysing the prevalence of such violations in hotspot districts, it is clear to the Central government that the situation is especially serious in Mumbai and Pune,” the order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 1:27:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-maharashtra-lauds-central-teams-visit-to-mumbai-pune/article31392356.ece

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