The Maharashtra government has allocated ₹45 crore to districts with reported cases of Covid-19 infections, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said in a video conference with various stakeholders on Monday.
Travellers from Dubai, Saudi Arabia and the US will also be screened at airports and quarantined, if necessary, as a precautionary measure, the state government said.
As of Monday evening, Maharashtra had reported 39 confirmed Covid-19 cases, up from 33 on Sunday. Pimpri Chinchwad has reported nine cases, Pune seven, Mumbai six, Nagpur four; Yavatmal, Kalyan and Navi Mumbai three each; and Raigad, Thane, Ahmednagar, and Aurangabad, one each.
The chief minister allocated ₹15 crore to Konkan division, ₹10 crore to Pune and ₹5 crore each to Amravati, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Nashik. Thackeray said patients suspected to be infected with the virus and asked to quarantine themselves at home will be stamped on their left hands, so that they may be identified. This has become necessary after six patients suspected to carry the virus fled from isolation wards of the Ahmednagar Civil Hospital and Mayo Hospital in Nagpur during the weekend. They have again been quarantined.
The government said that the police will guard public quarantine facilities to prevent patients from leaving and will also conduct regular checks on patients ordered to quarantine themselves at home. Public quarantine centres will have a TV, a carrom board, and food for patients.
“Patients should not be treated as criminals. They need to be treated with utmost empathy while taking into consideration their psychological needs. It is important to maintain a humane approach," Thackeray said.
Maharashtra has already invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, which gives state collectors and commissioners the power to set up testing and quarantine facilities in private hospitals, if required, take punitive action against those who violate quarantine rules, and restrict access to geographical areas to control the outbreak.
All rural schools will be closed indefinitely and local body elections across the state will be postponed by three months, the chief minister said. Thackeray also directed district authorities to prevent large gatherings at religious places and to deny permissions for administrative events and meetings. This rule, however, does not apply to daily prayers at places of worship.