On Saturday, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis wrote to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray urging him to focus on increasing COVID-19 testing across the state. Maintaining that the testing is being gradually reduced by the state government, he claimed that there was an attempt to show an artificial decrease in the number of novel coronavirus patients. To buttress his point, the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly highlighted that only 75,296 tests were conducted daily in the state between October 1-15 as compared to 91,743 daily tests in the September 16-30 period.
He also mentioned that the positivity rate and the number of COVID-19 deaths in Mumbai were steadily increasing in the past month and a half. The BJP leader questioned the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on why it was not conducting more tests in Mumbai despite an alleged 2% increase in COVID-19 spread. Thereafter, he observed that Maharashtra accounts for 41% and 22% of the total novel coronavirus patients and fatalities in India respectively. According to him, it is difficult to restart the economic activities in the state due to the increasing COVID-19 spread and inadequate testing.
सातत्याने कोरोना प्रादुर्भाव वाढत असताना पुन्हा चाचण्या कमी❗️
मुंबईत 2 टक्क्यांनी वाढले रूग्ण,
राज्यात प्रतिदिन चाचण्या 92 हजाराहून 75 हजारांवर!
चाचण्या वाढविण्यासंदर्भात मुख्यमंत्री मा. उद्धव ठाकरेजी यांना पत्र… pic.twitter.com/cf7dm7x9TP
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) October 17, 2020
Maharashtra government tweaks Unlock 5 guidelines
Currently, there are 15,86,321 confirmed novel coronavirus cases out of which 13,58,606 patients have been discharged and 41,965 fatalities have been reported. On Wednesday, the Maharashtra government announced further relaxations in the Unlock 5 phase, allowing more activities to be restarted in areas outside containment zones. For instance, Metro Rail was allowed to operate from October 15 in a graded manner. Moreover, up to 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff can be called to the schools at a time for online teaching and related works from October 15.
All government and private libraries were permitted to function once again from October 15 with COVID-19 protocols of social distancing and sanitization. In order to reduce crowding, markets and shops can remain open from 9 am to 9 pm from October 15. While the domestic passengers arriving at airports in Maharashtra will continue to be checked for COVID-19 symptoms, they shall no longer be stamped with indelible ink.