The Mumbai-Pune urban belt is the worst-hit by the disease, but other cities in the state are also witnessing a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 cases
Ashok Kumar | Clarion India
MUMBAI – Worried about the continuing rise in new Covid-19 cases, which has already taken over 30,000 lives in the state, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday launched a campaign to reach out to crores of people in a bid to curb the disease.
‘Majhe Kutumb, Majhi Jababdari,’ (My Family, My Responsibility), the new campaign aims to reach out to 2.25 crore families twice a month to check fever and oxygen levels and even comorbidities such as diabetes, heart and other organ ailments. Officials from various departments including public health, medical education and drugs, rural and urban development, revenue and women and child development will fan across the state, interacting with residents and helping them tackle the health crisis.
Maharashtra accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the total 80,000-plus deaths caused by the Coronavirus in India. The worst-affected cities include Mumbai and the neighbouring satellite cities, Pune and its satellite cities and also Nagpur, Solapur, Kolhapur and Raigad. The Mumbai-Pune belt is the worst-hit in India in terms of Covid infections and deaths.
Government figures reveal that almost 3 lakh patients of a total of nearly 11 lakh in Maharashtra are undergoing treatment for Covid-19. More than 7.5 lakh have recovered. Pune tops the list with nearly 2.3 lakh cases, while Mumbai has over 1.72 lakh cases. Nearly 8,200 patients have succumbed to Covid-19 in Mumbai and almost 5,300 in Pune.
But despite the growing number of Covid cases in the Mumbai-Pune belt, people are increasingly venturing out and travelling in the region. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, which operates the air-conditioned luxury Shivneri services between Mumbai and Pune (and different cities across the state) has reported a surge in the number of travellers between the two cities.
MSRTC resumed its operations on August 20 with five services covering 15 trips between Mumbai and Pune. It now caters to nearly a thousand passengers (each bus has 50 per cent occupancy to ensure social distancing) daily.
The Maharashtra government has still not allowed private bus operators to launch their services on the Mumbai-Pune sector, one of the busiest in the country, though officials have promised the players that they will soon be allowed to do so.