Citing the surge in COVID-19 cases and fatalities in Maharashtra, senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday termed the state as the "COVID capital" of the country.
He stressed that testing need to be ramped up to check the spread of coronavirus and to bring the fatality rate under control.
"We are not making any allegations. We are more interested in arresting the spread of Coronavirus than doing politics. I have been demanding that number of tests should be increased in the state," the former chief minister told reporters, after inaugurating a COVID care centre for journalists.
"Conducting antigen tests is a good thing but the number of RT-PCR tests should be increased," said Fadnavis, the Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Assembly.
He said the current ratio of RT-PCR and antigen tests is 1:2, which should be equal.
"This way we can bring the cases and death ratio down," he said.
"Maharashtra has become the COVID capital of the country, as the state accounts for 24 per cent of the total number of cases in India. The state also accounts for 41 per cent of the total deaths in the country," the former CM said.
Maharashtra's coronavirus tally stood at 5,84,754 on August 15 while the fatality count rose to 19,749, as per the state government.
Suggesting the way forward, Fadnavis said the government should create small facilities for better management of the situation instead of setting up jumbo facilities.
When asked about the performance of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government, he said there is infighting among the ruling constituents.
"Nobody knows what is going on. Especially, the developments related to transfers are unpalatable. Whatever we are hearing about transfers is even scarier," Fadnavis said.
The BJP leader said he had come across reports quoting the director general (of police) that he will quit if asked to carry out some "wrong transfers".
A controversy had erupted last month over the transfer of 10 Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) in Mumbai, leading to revocation of the order within days of the state Home department issuing them.
While the Shiv Sena heads the coalition government, the home department is helmed by the NCP.
"In the current situation, transfers should be avoided, as it will save on expenses," he said.
Meanwhile, Fadnavis said he had been directed by the BJP to work for the upcoming Assembly elections in Bihar.
"The BJP sends its leaders to different poll-bound states for extending their help. I have been told to go there (to Bihar) to help, so I will work as per the instructions given by the party," he said.(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)