New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Centre has said that Maharashtra is in the "beginning of the second wave of COVID-19" and has urged the authorities  to focus on containment strategies, social distancing and hygiene.

In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the central team, which was rushed to the state to assess the COVID-19 situation, noted the "lack of COVID-appropriate behaviour" and "tracking and testing of cases". 

The letter, written by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on the basis of the assessment by the central team, read: "Maharashtra is in the beginning of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. There very limited active effort to track, test, isolate cases and quarantine contacts. There is no adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour among people both in rural and urban areas."  

"The Central team inferred that the administrative mechanism should be re-instated to the level witnessed in August -September 2020 to contain/suppress the COVID transmission," it added. 

The letter also highlightes that the fatality count was high in hospitals like Vasant Rao Pawar Medical College, Nashik and Government Medical College in Aurangabad. 

It also mentioned that the number of people testing positive was very high, ranging from "5.1 per cent in Mumbai to 30 per cent in Aurangabad", and added that there was high transmission in the community. 

Emphasising on the need to ramp up testing, the Centre said that a large pool of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people were not being tracked and tested because of limited contact tracing.  

"The central team found that the District Administration is not much worried about the evolving situation. We could sense a feeling that enough has been done already. This complacency may take its toll," the letter warned. 

Maharashtra accounts for 56 per cent of all active cases in India currently, with eight of the top 10 districts in the country being in the state. The state reported 16,620 new Covid cases out of a total of 26,294 in the country on Monday. The state government has warned of a lockdown if the surge in cases is not contained.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta