BHOPAL: With the second wave of Covid-19 now spreading to villages of Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced the extension of coronavirus-related curfew across the state till May 15.
“Lock yourselves in and stop everything, I appeal all people of the state to stay indoors till May 15 and observe COVID-19 appropriate behaviour religiously to break the chain of the COVID-19 infection in the state,” Chouhan said on Thursday.
Indore and Bhopal have imposed the curfew till May 10 morning and some districts including Jabalpur and Chhindwara imposed it till May 17, while Rewa’s restrictions go on till May 15.
“While the positivity rate in the state has come down from 25% to 18% in three weeks, the concerning aspect is that the pandemic is spreading to villages.
Some districts have done commendable work in controlling the spiraling positivity rate, while some other districts have more work to do. I’m not naming those districts, as I’ll take up the situation individually with district collectors,” the CM said.
With the infection spreading into rural areas, the CM also announced that works/labour under the MGNREGA won’t be allowed till May 15 in those villages, which has even a single positive case, while in villages with no positive cases also, the works will be allowed only with proper safeguards.
“We’ll ensure that no one suffers by giving three months free ration to villagers,” Chouhan assured.
Blaming marriages also for the spiraling number of cases, the CM said, “no marriages will be allowed in May, marriages can be solemnized on muhurats (auspicious dates) in June. Marriages are meant to bring progress and prosperity and not misery, but allowing marriages to happen this month will end up plunging the lives of people into grave risk.”
He also said that strict action will be taken against hospitals charging hefty sums from commoners particularly from poor people.
“Currently over 500 hospitals are treating COVID-19 patients, but some of these hospitals are looting people, which will not be allowed at any cost. We’ve started identifying and initiating action against such hospitals starting from the state capital Bhopal and similar action will be replicated against similar hospitals.”
“We’ll leave some hospitals for treating people who can afford costly treatment, but all others will have to treat people at fixed rates. We’re working on war footing to ensure that all hospitals in the state treat the Ayushman Scheme card holder families free of cost. We’re making arrangements for free of cost treatment of all poor, lower middle class and middle class people at hospitals,” the CM maintained.
Meanwhile, the state reported 12,421 new COVID cases over the last 24 hours at a positivity rate of 18.23%, which was lowest in 24 days.
As many as 86 deaths too were reported during the last 24 hours, which also saw 12,965 recoveries.
While three districts, including Indore, Bhopal and Gwalior continued to report four-digit daily spike in cases, 34 other districts reported daily spike in triple digits, while remaining 15 districts reported double digit single day spike.
With this the state currently has 88,614 active cases, while the total positive cases since March 2020 have grown to 6,37,406 cases. Since March 2020, the state has officially reported 6160 deaths and 5,42,632 recoveries.