Maharashtra Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat raises concern over Ahmednagar COVID-19 situation

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat has alleged mismanagement of medicines and tests of COVID-19 patients in Ahmednagar and said this could worsen the situation in the district.

The Congress leader, who hails from Ahmednagar, located about 260 km from Mumbai, wrote a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday, listing his observations made during a recent tour of the district.

He also sought instructions on the judicious use of Remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients.

On Monday, Ahmednagar reported 2,254 new COVID-19 cases, raising its overall tally to 1,08,893, while 23 deaths pushed the toll to 1,155, as per official data.

Thorat said COVID-19 test reports were being declared after about 48 hours of swab collection and during this period, those people were not following isolation guidelines.

Some tehsils in Ahmednagar do not have rapid antigen test kits, due to which less number of COVID-19 tests were being conducted, he said.

As a result, less number of COVID-19 cases were being reported in the district, which is “not the ground reality”, he said.

“These things could worsen the situation in the district,” the minister said.

He said basic medicines like Paracetamol, Cetrizine, Azithromycin and Fabiflu were also not available in state-run hospitals and COVID-19 care centres in Ahmednagar Though 85 per cent of the COVID-19 patients were getting cured at the isolation centres, necessary medicines need to be made available easily, he said.

“If a patient’s health deteriorates, timely availability of oxygen and Remdesivir is crucial. Kindly initiate appropriate action,” Thorat said in the letter.

He also said many citizens were rushing for lung scans for the detection of spread of the viral infection.

“This leads to crowding at the scanning centres. These centres have now become one of the causes for the rise in COVID-19 cases,” Thorat said.

Doctors were also insisting on the HR-CT (high resolution scan of the chest) reports before admitting patients, he said and demanded a strict policy on such scans.