New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday took a jibe at Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal for his 'Bhabhiji papad' remark and said that many patients in Maharashtra are recovering from COVID-19, noting that the "fight is against the infection and not a political one".

Defending his government's effort to control the coronavirus pandemic in Maharashtra, Raut during the proceedings in Rajya Sabha on Thursday noted that the state has a recovery rate of 70.71 per cent.

"My mother and my brother are infected with COVID-19. Many people in Maharashtra are recovering also. Today, the situation in Dharavi is under control. World Health Organisation (WHO) has appreciated the efforts of BMC. I want to state these facts as some members here were criticising Maharashtra government yesterday," Raut was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Later in the day, Raut further said that the Maharashtra government has Rs 25,000 crores of dues from the Centre that they are not ready to give, questioning "how will the state fight the deadly pandemic". 

Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal in July this year promoted 'Bhabiji papad' and claimed that it was made from such ingredients which could help in building antibodies against the dreadful coronavirus.

Maharashtra is the worst affected state in India by the pandemic. The state has 2,97,506 active cases of coronavirus, the highest in the country. Apart from this, 7,92,832 patients have also been cured and discharged in the state while 30,883 deaths have been reported.

'Targeting to bring down mortality rate to less than 1 per cent'

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said that India's COVID-19 mortality rate at 1.64 per cent is lowest in the world and the government is targeting to bring it down to less than 1 per cent, adding that the country's recovery rate of 78-79 per cent is one of the highest in the world.

He further said that though total cases may have crossed 50 lakh, active cases are less than 20 per cent.

"Deaths in India due to coronavirus pandemic are less than many nations in Europe," he said, adding the government was determined to cross the US in testing rate as well.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma