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'Ramp up COVID-19 testing in Kolhapur': Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar directs district officials

03:31 PM Jun 14, 2021 | PTI

As the COVID-19 positivity rate in Maharashtra's Kolhapur district remaining higher, state Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday directed the administration to ramp up testing and warned residents against lowering their guard.

Pawar and state Health Minister Rajesh Tope conducted a review meeting of the pandemic situation in the western Maharashtra district."In the first wave of the pandemic, the district administration did a commendable job by controlling the infection. However, the positivity rate in the district in the current second wave is still at the higher side. The review meeting discussed measures like the requirement of drugs etc to check the transmission," Pawar told reporters. He said authorities were directed to ensure that COVID-19 patients get admitted in institutional quarantine rather than remaining in home isolation. "Currently, 9,000 tests are being conducted in the Kolhapur district every day. We told the district administration to increase this number by at least one-and-a-half times or double it. If the testing is increased, no doubt the number of cases will increase for a week, but the case positivity rate will fall in the coming days," the deputy CM said.

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Pawar said instructions were also given to go for "universal testing" in the villages where the positivity rate is high. Kolhapur district currently falls under the level-4 category of higher positivity rate under the five-level classification by the state government. "As Kolhapur district falls under level-4, no relaxations will be given in restrictions. If people do not follow the COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, the rules will be made more stringent. I urge the people to adhere to rules and eradicate the coronavirus," he said.

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Pawar said in a district where vaccination is on a higher side the case positivity rate remains low and vice versa. "Vaccination is the key. Vaccination centres will be increased once the supply of doses increases," he added. Pawar said the district administration was doing a good job." In the current scenario, we will have to get work done. We cannot disappoint them. We told health officials to tell us what issues they are facing. We have promised all the help and assistance," he added.

As of Sunday, Kolhapur district's COVID-19 caseload stood at 1,33,310 and the death toll was 3,671. On Sunday, 9,578 samples were tested, according to the district administration.

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