10, including 2 in Mumbai, test positive for Covid-19 in Maharashtra

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Mumbai, March 11 (IANS) Mumbai went into high alert after two persons tested positive for Covid-19, taking the total afflicted in the state to 10, including 8 in Pune, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said here on Wednesday.
Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar informed the media late this evening that the ongoing Budget session of Maharashtra Legislature is likely to be curtailed and ended on Saturday. A final decision on this will be taken on Thursday, they added.
Pawar emphasized that the decision to cut short the legislature session is not out of any panic over coronavirus, but to enable the state government to marshall all its efforts towards the disease, and allow MLAs to return to their constituencies and oversee the precautionary measures being taken.
Thackeray assured that though the 10 patients have tested positive, they are not ‘serious’ and they are undergoing treatment at various hospitals.
Health officials have described the two found affected in Mumbai and the others in Pune as close to some of the afflicted who had returned from a Dubai trip last along with a 40-member tour.
The two Mumbai patients are currently undergoing treatment in an isolation ward in Kasturba Hospital after their test reports were received on Thursday, an official of Communicable Diseases Control Programme said.
The tour members hailed from different parts of Maharashtra and now warlike efforts are underway to trace them and implement the necessary measures.
Thackeray and Pawar assured the people that the state government is fully geared towards tackling any crisis arising out of the coronavirus spread and appealed to all not to panic.
“Those who have travelled and come from abroad are advised to stay indoors at home for 14 days. All others should avoid crowding in public places and exercise all other precautions as prescribed by the health authorities,” Thackeray said.
To a question, he said there appears to be no immediate need to shut down schools and colleges in the state and the situation would be monitored before taking the final decision.
In a significant announcement, Thackeray said that there is a proposal to restrict people from entering the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) tourney matches in various stadia, as a precautionary measure.
Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that sufficient number of beds in government and private hospitals – numbering around 650 in Mumbai – have been readied to tackle any emergency.
“A central team of experts will visit the state soon and train our medical staff on handling Covid-19 patients. We have sufficient number of masks, medicines, beds and isolation wards, medical and para-medical staff to handle the situation,” he added.
While the state government has appealed to the people not to panic, as many as 138,968 passengers have been screened till Wednesday (March 11) at the three international airports in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.
Besides, as per revised rules of the Centre, all passengers arriving from Iran, South Korea and Italy are being notified to the Bureau of Immigation. From February 29 till date, a total of 635 passengers from these affected countries have landed in Maharashtra.
Since January 18, 349 people with suspected coronavirus symptoms were admitted to various hospitals in the state of which 312 have tested negative so far and discharged after completing their 14-day quarantine.
Presently, 18 suspected Covind-19 patients are still in Pune hospitals and 15 in Mumbai hospitals whose test reports are awaited besides Coronavirus suspects in government hospitals in Nagpur and Pimpri-Chinchwad.