MP government talks tough as corona cases in Bhopal increase


By Sandeep Pauranik

Bhopal, Aug 1 (IANS): With the number of coronavirus infections on the increase in state capital Bhopal after Indore, the Madhya Pradesh government is getting strict on the implementation of the health and other protocols.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has directed his Ministers not to undertake official tours till August 14, conduct meetings and rallies only through videoconferences, and meet not more than five people at their residences.

He has also warned that those not following social distancing and wearing face masks -- be it the Ministers, MLAs, other public representatives, and officials -- will face strict action.

While the state's corona tally is over 31,000 now, Indore leads with more than 7,200 cases while Bhopal is at second position with over 6,300 cases. However, for the past few days, the number of new cases in Bhopal are increasing compared with Indore, worrying the authorities.

A 10-day lockdown has been declared in Bhopal, which will continue till August 4. With 208 cases reported on Friday, the total corona cases in Bhopal increased to 6,313. Indore reported 112 new cases, taking its total to 7,216.

Health Department Additional Chief Secretary Mohammad Suleiman said that antigen tests have been introduced in Bhopal to speed up the whole process.

While private hospitals in Bhopal are being converted into Covid centres, hotels have been roped in to facilitate paid quarantine.

District Collector Avinash Lavania said that while the treatment of coronavirus infection and quarantine at the government-run facilities is free, the paid quarantine facility has also been ensured for those who can afford it.

Taking a dig at Chouhan, Congress MP Vivek Tankha wondered why he made announcements that he himself could not fulfil. He asked the Chief Minister if he could even think of acting against state Home Minister Narottam Mishra who he alleged was never seen wearing a mask in public.

"Some wise men think not wearing masks is their only identity," he remarked.

  

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