Maharashtra is at the beginning of the second wave of COVID, the centre has said in a letter to the state government. The centre has asked the state to step up containment strategies in order to fight the virus.
The letter written by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, based on the findings of a central team, has flagged the lack of COVID-appropriate behaviour and "tracking and testing of cases".
"There very limited active effort to track, test, isolate cases and quarantine contacts. There is no adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour among people both in rural and urban areas," Bhushan note in the letter.
"The letter states that the present case fatality was found to be very high among admitted cases in hospitals like-Government Medical College in Aurangabad and in Vasant Rao Pawar Medical College, Nashik. This needed investigation in detail, including sending samples for Whole Genome Sequencing," Bhushan wrote in the letter.
The central team found that the number of people testing positive was high, "ranging from 5.1 per cent in Mumbai to 30 per cent in Aurangabad", flagging that there were many cases that were not being tested and "there is high transmission in the community".
Due to limited contact tracing, several asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people were not being tracked and tested, the letter stated.
The central team also suggested increasing testing, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research's protocols.
"The central team found that the District Administration is not much worried about the evolving situation. We could sense a feeling that enough has been done already. This complacency may take its toll," Bhushan warned.
"Some districts are enforcing or considering night curfews, partial lockdowns and weekend lockdowns (Aurangabad, Nashik and Jalgaon), but these measures "may have only very limited impact on containing/suppressing the transmission", the letter addressed to the state administration mentioned.
"Hence the district administration should focus on containment strategy as per the guidelines of the health ministry," it added.
Maharashtra reported more than 15,000 fresh Coronavirus cases on Monday, March 15, taking the tally to 23,29,464.
To curb the surge in cases, the Uddhav Thackeray-led government has limited cinemas to half capacity, banned gatherings and capped people allowed in weddings, funerals and offices.