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'Low Covid-19 Testing Can be Dangerous': Fadnavis Suggests Ramping Up Capacity in Maharashtra

File photo of BJP leader and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.

File photo of BJP leader and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Addressing a press conference here, the former chief minister, who was here to review the COVID-19 situation in Pune and the adjoining and Pimpri-Chinchwad, said testing capacity needs to be ramped up in the city.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: June 23, 2020, 9:56 PM IST
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BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday suggested ramping up coronavirus testing in Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, and warned that not testing as per available capacity can be "dangerous".

Addressing a press conference here, the former chief minister, who was here to review the COVID-19 situation in Pune and the adjoining and Pimpri-Chinchwad, said testing capacity needs to be ramped up in the city.

"Testing is less in Pune and it seems that the state government is neglecting (this aspect) and this strategy is dangerous for the city.

"We have come to such a point where testing needs be done aggressively," the leader of opposition in the assembly said.

He said the state's current capacity to do 38,000 tests per day, but the current daily figure is only 14,000.

"In Mumbai, the capacity is 10,000 to 12,000 but we are doing only 4000 tests. I think this strategy is dangerous," the BJP leader warned.

He said the rate of infection in Pune city was 12 per cent, but in the last few days, the incidence has now gone up to 18 per cent.

"If we ramp up testing, we can isolate patients and further spread can be tamed and deaths caused due to the infection can also be minimised," Fadnavis said.

He said there is lack of coordination between different government wings in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and maintained that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray should step in.

"There is no coordination among ministers, there is no coordination between ministers and administration. So it is the responsibility of the chief of the state to make that coordination happen.

"That is why I expect the chief minister to ensure coordination. In absence of proper coordination, our fight against COVID-19 will only go backwards," Fadnavis said.

The BJP leader also said there is no coordination with private hospitals as far as making available beds for coronavirus patients is concerned.

"There is a government resolution on medical bills charged by private hospital but there is a need to bring clarity on the charges put by hospitals," he said.

The former chief minister sought action against hospitals seeking to profit from the current health crisis.

Fadnavis said he will raise all these issues and shortcomings before Ajit Pawar, the deputy chief minister who is also the guardian minister of Pune district, and also put forward his suggestions.

He demanded that the state government financially help municipal corporations in their fight against COVID-19.

"Mumbai's municipal corporation is considered to be rich. Financial condition (of civic bodies) is Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Thane and Navi Mumbai is also good but they do not have large deposits.

"But in other municipal corporations, they can only manage to pay salaries. So in such a situation, allocating extra funds for COVID-19 is difficult for them...so the state government should help these corporations financially," the BJP leader said.

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