Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla spoke to the Chief Secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra to review the containment measures undertaken to tackle the novel coronavirus crisis on Thursday. As per sources, both states have requested the assistance of paramilitary force to control the situation. Moreover, Maharashtra has reportedly asked for infrastructural help. Meanwhile, Bhalla as per sources conveyed the Centre's apprehension about the sealing of hotspots in 15 districts of UP.
He urged the UP Chief Secretary to ensure that the common man will be provided essential commodities. Sources added that Centre would provide extra support to the Yogi Adityanath-led government on this front. The UP Secretary also reportedly informed Bhalla about the fact that some Markaz attendees were still hiding in the state.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Uttar Pradesh has recorded 361 novel coronavirus cases and 4 casualties. The state government has ordered the sealing of hotspots in 15 districts of UP namely- Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi, Shamli, Saharanpur, Firozabad, Bulandshahr, Bareilly, Basti, Maharajganj and Sitapur. In the hotspots, all essential commodities will be only home-delivered to ensure that social distancing is maintained. A massive scanning and sanitisation drive will take place. Additionally, all existing curfew passes will be reviewed and those deemed not necessary under the present circumstances shall be revoked.
With 1297 COVID-19 cases, Maharashtra has been the worst-hit state in India. This includes 839 cases from Mumbai itself. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has created 381 containment zones to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Addressing the residents of the state on Wednesday, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray made an appeal to the retired soldiers having experience in medical corps, retired nurses and ward boys and unemployed medical professionals to join hands with the government in the fight against COVID-19. He stressed that the state deeply valued the services of individuals having such courage. Also, wearing of masks has been made mandatory in multiple cities such as Mumbai, Thane, Pune, and Nashik.