Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state, former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis has written a letter on Tuesday to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging that daily coronavirus cases in the state are decreasing due to lower testing.
In a tweet in Marathi, Mr Fadnavis wrote, “Decreasing number of tests in the state including Mumbai, low number of RT-PCR tests, increased risk of infection, 20 per cent of the total deaths in the state are in Mumbai, old records are not updated, accurate information is not available for Corona fight.”
The letter said, “I request the Chief Minister to not fall prey in creating virtual pictures (like photo-ops) just by portraying a fall in daily COVID cases in the state. Only an accurate infection rate, proper testing can provide accurate data of COVID-infected patients.”
“I had shared with you consistently, with complete statistics, about how low the number of tests is being carried out, even in the first wave of COVID-19 last year. Today, when the intensity of the second wave is high, I consider it my duty to bring some issues to your notice once again. There have been very few tests in Mumbai in the last 8 days. 36,556 on April 19, 45,350 on April 20, 47,270 on April 21, 46,874 on April 22, 41,826 on April 23, 39,584 on April 24, 40,298 on 25 April and as of April 26, 28,338 such tests had been performed. Its average is 40,760”, he wrote.
“With a 40-lakh population, Nagpur is conducting over 26 thousand tests every day. Pune is also doing higher tests with their 68-lakh population. But Mumbai, which has a 4 times higher population than these two cities can’t even reach an average of 40,000 tests every day”, Mr Fadnavis said in the letter.
Maharashtra reported 48,700 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the state health bulletin on Monday. The state also recorded 71,736 discharges and 524 deaths in the last 24 hours.