Maharashtra to tag people as coronavirus cases rise

The government will put a ‘stamp’ on the left hand of the self-quarantined person
Last Updated 17 March 2020, 03:05 IST

In an unprecedented step in the larger public interest to control the spread of COVID-19, the Maharashtra government on Monday decided to tag people who are under home quarantine.

In Maharashtra, so far 39 people have tested positive — nearly one-third in India.

The government will put a “stamp” on the left hand of the self-quarantined person so that they can be easily identified. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that stamp will be indelible ink so that it will last for 14 days.

At a high-level meeting, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reviewed the situation and also spoke to divisional commissioners and district collectors.

Speaking to reporters at the state secretariat, Thackeray said there is no reason to panic but to take precautions. “Basic precautions are needed...not to spit in public, maintain personal and public hygiene,” he said.

In Mumbai alone, more than 500 people are in self-quarantine.

Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure, from Tuesday, the general public will not be allowed in Mantralaya, the state secretariat and Raj Bhavan.

The government has also deferred the local bodies polls by three months in consultation with the State Election Commission.

While last week, the state government had decided to shut down schools and colleges in urban areas, the same has been extended to rural areas.

The four new cases, including three from Mumbai and one form the satellite township of Navi Mumbai, were reported on Monday.

Out of 39 cases in the state, Pune accounts for 16, Mumbai 8, Nagpur 4, Navi Mumbai and Raigad district 4, Yavatmal 3, Thane city and Kalyan 2, Ahmednagar and Aurangabad, one each.

As a precautionary measure, all gatherings — political and religious — will not be allowed. “It is not a crime if somebody is infected by Covid-19. They must be given proper medical treatment and psychological support. The Epidemic Diseases Act has been invoked in the interest of the people and the district administration must create awareness on it,” Thackeray said.

(Published 17 March 2020, 03:05 IST)

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