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Even suspects testing negative for coronavirus will be kept in 14-day isolation: Maharashtra Health Minister

PTI Mumbai | Updated on March 23, 2020

File photo   -  REUTERS

There is not a community transmission so far, says the State’s Health Minister

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said that coronavirus suspects who have tested negative for the infection will now be kept in isolation for 14 days, as per the Centre’s new precautionary advisory.

Speaking to reporters, Tope said earlier people who tested negative were kept in isolation wards for seven days only. “As per the Centre’s fresh advisory, these patients will be kept in isolation for 14 days. The revised advisory is meant for more safety from the State’s side,” he said.

At present, six coronavirus testing laboratories are functional in the state and the government is trying to use them to their optimal capacity, said the Minister. “I have been told that all the government-run medical colleges across the state will also have testing laboratories from March 27,” he added.

The number of Covid-19 patients has jumped by 15 in one day, but those without any travel history who got the infections are the close relatives of the coronavirus positive patients, he said. “It is not a community transmission,” he said.

‘Cooperate with us’

Asked about citizens crowding roads despite the enforcement of CrPC Section 144, Tope said, We will have to use force and initiate legal action against violators. We do not want to take such tough decision, as we want to trust people. We expect people to cooperate with us.

He also urged people to conduct blood donation camps on small scale so that social distancing is maintained as well as supply of blood is ensured. “Maharashtra blood bank has supply for only next 15 days. If a small scale blood camp is organised, it will help the State machinery and the required social distancing to avoid spread of the coronavirus will also be followed,” he said.

There is no need to organise a large scale blood donation camp as social distancing is advised by the Centre. If such camps are organised at a small scale, it will be very helpful for the state health department, he said.

“We are in need of blood supply. Blood donation would not make you weaker. During blood donation, a small volume is taken out, which does not affect the person’s immunity. In fact, it will be good if people come forward in small groups and carry out blood donation,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar also appealed to people to stay indoors. In a video message, Pawar said, “People should leave their home only in an emergency situation. They should not come out on streets and increase the burden on police.”

Published on March 23, 2020

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