11 cities in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, WB and MP under ‘serious situation’

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New Delhi, April 20, 2020-

The Centre on Monday announced that Indore, Mumbai, Jaipur and Kolkata are among 11 cities in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and West Bengal where COVID-19 “situation is specially serious”.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) made the announcement after analyzing the prevalence of lockdown violations in major hotspot districts in these cities of the four states.

The situation is specially serious in Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Mumbai and Pune (Maharashtra), Jaipur (Rajasthan) and Kolkata, Howrah, Medinipur East, 24 Parganas North, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, the Ministry said through a statement based on lockdown violation reports.

The Ministry further noted that “expertise of the Centre need to be used” in these states.

Mentioning if the incidents of violations are allowed to occur without any restraining measures in hotspot districts or emerging hotspots or even places where large outbreaks or clusters may be expected and pose a serious health hazard, the Ministry said it will pose danger both for the population of these districts and for that living in other areas of the country.

To deal with the growing menace, the government has constituted six Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCTs) to focus on the implementation of and compliance with the lockdown measures as per the guidelines, supply of essential goods and other related issues, said the statement.

The six IMCTs include two each for West Bengal and Maharashtra and one each for Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to make on-spot assessment of situation and issue necessary directions to state authorities for its redressal and submit their report to Central government in larger interest of general public.

The Committees have been constituted by the Central government in exercise of the powers conferred under the Disaster Management Act 2005.

The IMCTs will focus their assessment on the compliance and implementation of lockdown measures as per guidelines and they will also focus on issues like the supply of essential commodities, social distancing in movement of people outside their homes, preparedness of the health infrastructure, hospital facility and sample statistics in the District, safety of health professionals, availability of test kits, PPEs, masks and other safety equipment, and conditions of the relief camps for labour and poor people.

“IMCTs will commence their visits at the earliest,” the statement said.

The Centre’s motive behind the formation of the IMCT is to ensure the proper enforcement of the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of novel coronavirus which has claimed 543 lives and led to over 14,000 confirmed cases across the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 14 extended the 21-day lockdown for another 19 days. The ongoing restrictions under the lockdown are slated to end on May 3.

The Ministry also cited Supreme Court’s order dated March 31, 2020 in which it had observed that “we trust and expect that all concerned viz state governments, public authorities and citizens of this country will faithfully comply with the directive and orders issued by the Union of India in letter and spirit in the interest of public safety”  (Agency)


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