Maha "playing" with COVID-19 figures; ramp up tests: Fadnavis

Mumbai, Jul 2 () BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday demanded increasing the number of coronavirus tests in Maharashtra and expressed concern over what he called delay in reporting of deaths caused by the infection.

He alleged the state is conducing less number of tests to suppress coronavirus infection figures.

The leader of opposition in the assembly, in a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, said, The state needs to increase the number of tests so that more and more people with coronavirus infection could be detected.

"Several deaths are being reported very late, which is putting the lives of relatives of the deceased and medical staff treating them at the risk of contracting the infection." Advertisement

The states new directive of not conducting COVID-19 test on dead people is fraught with risk as it would expose the coronavirus warriors to the infection, Fadnavis said.

"I have raised the issue frequently but I have been forced to write on the same issue again because it has not been addressed properly," the former chief minister added.

"I am also worried about the current number of tests which are very low compared to total capacity of carrying out tests," said the BJP leader.

I have written a similar letter to the Union health secretary expressing my concerns over under-utilisation of testing capacity of Maharashtra, Fadnavis said.

The number of tests in Mumbai on June 1 was 2,01,507 tests while the figure was 3,33,752 on June 30. It means 1,32,245 tests were conducted in the entire month, which brings the daily average to 4,408," he said. Out of 1,32,245 tests, 36,559 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the month of June, taking the infection percentage to 28, Fadnavis said. Advertisement

"Out of every 100 people tested by the authorities, 28 were found positive. The countrys percentage is 6.39, while the figure in Mumbai alone is 28 per cent," he said.

He alleged the state is conducing less number of tests to suppress figures.

For the first time, on June 25, Maharashtra did 24,000 tests of which 4,841 tested positive. The number was reduced to 19,983 tests the next day to show lesser count. Advertisement

"This playing with figures is going to increase the number of cases ultimately, the BJP leader said.

Same is the case with fatality rate of the state and also Mumbai city. Every day, some 200 deaths are being reported of which around 120 deaths are shown as previously occurred deaths," Fadnavis said.

This ultimately affects the government itself in terms of forming a strong policy to counter the infection, he said. Advertisement

In MMR alone, during the month of June the number of COVID-19 cases increased by 94 per cent in Mumbai, 166 per cent in Thane, 469 per cent in Kalyan Dombivali, 413 per cent in Mira Bhayander, 1,470 per cent in the Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation, 364 per cent in the Panvel Municipal Corporation and 190 per cent in Navi Mumbai. "It only underscores that the state should have taken preemptive measures much earlier, Fadnavis said. ND RSY RSY

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