Into the second month of the quite lenient unlock period, Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest single day spike in COVID-19 positive cases of 307, taking its tally to 14604 on Saturday. In the first four days of July, the 'Unlock 2' period, the state has already recorded 1,011 cases.
The state also recorded 26 deaths in the past four days, taking its toll to 598, data released by Madhya Pradesh health department shows. The death rate, though partially down, continues to be over four per cent.
During the past week, the politically active Gwalior-Chambal region (where 16 out of the 24 Assembly by-polls are slated) showed considerable spike in COVID-19 cases and the new hotspot in the state seems to be Morena district in Chambal that reported 78 positive cases on Saturday. During the past week (from June 27), Morena district has reported 340 positive cases, the highest in state, and four deaths.
If the six districts of Gwalior-Chambal region that is Gwalior, Bhind, Morena, Datia, Sheopur and Shivpuri are taken together, then during the past week they have recorded a total of 591 positive cases. Gwalior has 130 of these 591 cases.
Morena's sudden spike in numbers has been attributed to the fact that the district borders Dholpur, one of the most affected districts of Rajasthan. Local sources said that when curfew was imposed in Dholpur in the second half of June, people started coming to Morena, just 28 kms away for their daily purchases and trades. Since the borders were open, heavy movement was reported and cases started spiking in Morena. It was then that the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered sealing of the borders. However, a large number of positive cases continue to be reported from the district.
One of the worrying things is that ground level political activities have commenced in the Gwalior-Chambal region and this might cause the infection to spread faster.
Public health activist Amulya Nidhi said that the spike in positive cases is expected since the testing has gone up in the state during the past fortnight. He said that this indicates that infection has spread, but cases were not being detected due to poor testing. He said that actually now the state should be progressing to group sampling in hotspot areas for early and rapid detection of cases.
Meanwhile, while undertaking review of COVID-19 situation in the state, the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan instructed all district collectors that besides detecting COVID-19 patients, detection and treatment of patients suffering from malaria and other diseases should also be ensured under the door-to-door 'Kill Corona' campaign.
Saying that maximum sampling should also be ensured in each district, Chouhan added that it is sure that the number of positive cases will increase because of the survey, but necessary treatment should be provided to each patient.
It was informed in the meeting that from recorded second highest cases during the initial outbreak of pandemic in the country, the state has now gone down to 15th position as far as COVID-19 positive cases was concerned, which was a big improvement. It was also mentioned that the recovery rate of patients was at a high of 76.9 per cent.