The Madhya Pradesh government has directed a number of doctors to reach Indore by 5.30 pm on Friday, failing which the government will take strict action against them under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).
Indore has become a major COVID-19 hotspot in the state. On April 11, about 32 senior doctors and 70 bonded doctors were asked to reach Indore at the earliest as the city witnessed the number of COVID-19 positive cases rising at an alarming rate. However, by April 15 only one bonded doctor has reached Indore. The state administration on Wednesday released a list of doctors who had been asked to rush to the city immediately and Health Commissioner Faiz Ahmed Kidwai warned them of invoking ESMA against them if they violate the order.
The government has already invoked ESMA on April 8 as a result of which, the health, ambulance, sale and transport of medicines and medical equipment, water and electricity, food and drinking water and security among 10 services have been considered essential. Action can be taken against employees working in these sectors for refusing to work under the testing times.
The total number of coronavirus cases in Indore went up to 544 after 117 new cases were reported from the Madhya Pradesh city on Wednesday, an official said. Till late Tuesday night, the state's industrial hub reported 427 COVID-19 cases.
"A report from a Delhi-based laboratory has found 117 more people of Indore infected with the coronavirus. Now, the number of COVID-19 cases in the city has gone up to 544. Of these, 37 patients have so far died during treatment," Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Praveen Jadia said.
An analysis of the data shows that till Wednesday morning, the death rate of COVID-19 patients in the city was around 6.8 percent, higher than the national average. So far, 37 people have been discharged after recovery, he said.
"Most of the new patients from Indore are either relatives or close acquaintances of people who earlier tested positive for coronavirus. All those who came in contact with these patients have already been isolated as a precaution," Jadia said.
The entire state has recorded 987 COVID-19 positive cases of which 53 have succumbed to the virus while 64 have been cured and discharged according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
(With PTI inputs)