Over 5,000 high-risk people quarantined in Maharashtra till now, cases likely to rise: Health Minister

Over 5,000 high-risk people quarantined in Maharashtra till now, cases likely to rise: Health Minister
We have quarantined over 5,000 ‘high-risk contact’ people as they are likely to be infected or are carriers of the coronavirus infection, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said (Representational Image)

Over 5,000 people in Maharashtra have been quarantined to date after coming in close contact with coronavirus patients in the state, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, Tope said that 5,343 people have been identified as high-risk contacts because they were in close contact with the 162 COVID-19 positive patients in the state.

“We have quarantined these ‘high-risk contact’ people as they are likely to be infected or are carriers of the coronavirus infection,” he said.

It is a clear indication that more people will test positive for coronavirus in the coming days, the minister said.

Around 4,000 heath department staffers have been deputed for surveillance and follow up of these people, he added.

As of yesterday night, 321 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in Maharashtra, the most in any state in India. More worryingly, 72 new cases were detected on Tuesday itself, likely the largest increase in the number of cases within a day.

Of the total number of cases, the highest been reported from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

In a bid to mitigate the risk, BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi has ordered the requisitioning of all vacant premises like flats, buildings, hotels, lodges, clubs, ships, hostels, community halls, dharamshalas, etc in Mumbai.

After requisitioning, the civic body will convert them into quarantine centres which will be used for the 14-day quarantine of people who were in close contact with COVID-19 patients.

Similar quarantine centres are being set up in other major cities and areas affected by the pandemic across the state.

Meanwhile, the civic body has also reportedly sealed over 140 residential buildings and clinics to contain the spread of the virus in the maximum city. The municipal authorities of neighbouring Navi Mumbai, Thane and Dombivali are taking the same action.

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