Pressing the panic button soon after recording 4,986 fresh cases in the last 24 hours, the Madhya Pradesh government has extended the lockdown in 12 districts including Indore on Saturday, in consultation with the district crisis management committees. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and senior officials held a video conference with the district crisis groups on Saturday.
Urban areas of Indore, Ujjain, Shajapur and Rau area will be under lockdown till April 19 6am, the Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Rajesh Rajora, said. Similarly, rural and urban areas of Barwani, Rajgarh and Vidisha will be under absolute prohibitive measures till April 19 morning.
Moreover, Balaghat, Narsinghpur, Seoni and urban areas of Jabalpur will be put under absolute lockdown from April 12 evening to April 22 6am. Several wards in Bhopal are already under lockdown till April 19 6am. Other districts like Ratlam, Chhindwara, Betul, Katni and Khargone are also facing lockdown ranging from seven to nine days.
Indore and Bhopal continue to remain Covid-19 hotspots in Madhya Pradesh with Indore reported 912 fresh cases in the last 24 hours with five deaths, while Bhopal followed closely with 736 cases and Jabalpur remained the third most affected district with 369 fresh cases in the same duration. Indore and Bhopal have recorded test positivity rates of 15% and 16%.
With 4,986 fresh cases in 24 hours, Madhya Pradesh has attained a test positivity rate of 13.2% and registered 24 deaths. The numbers of active cases have surged to over 32,000 in the State and total cases of infections since March last year have gone up to over 3.32 lakh.
However, the opposition Congress party and some media reports have put numbers of casualties much above the government figures accusing the administration of under reporting the Covid-19 mortalities.
The State government has also issued clarifications on hospitals beds, oxygen supply and Remdesivir injections on Saturday. Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Md Suleman speaking to the media said that bed occupancy is around 35% in MP with districts like Indore and Bhopal having 70% occupancy and some districts having around 5%. Whenever bed occupancy surges to 75%, we increase ICU and HDU beds, he added.
“We have also issued a Hospital Admission Protocol so that those only in need of hospitalisation are given beds and others could remain in home isolation,” said the officer. Private hospitals have provided 13,285 beds for Covid-19 treatment, said Suleman.
On oxygen consumption growth, the officer said on March 22, the State consumed only 64 metric tonnes of oxygen while on April 8, it mounted a whopping 234 metric tonnes. However, it was steady at 131 metric tonnes from March 22 to April 5. He said there is no shortage as the State has 277 metric tonnes of supply but he hinted towards hoarding of oxygen.
Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang said that there is no dearth of amenities including beds and every district will have Covid Care Centres shortly.
Ministers also have been assigned district responsibilities for better handling of the situation. Rs 104 have been sanctioned for district collectors so that they could use the fund for Covid-19 prevention activities and care related heads.