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COVID-19: BJP MLA wants Khandwa Collector removed as cases spike

In the past 15 days, the district has stepped up sampling which is resulting in new cases being detected, says Collector Tanvi Sundriyal.

A BJP MLA from Khandwa district has exhorted Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to remove Collector Tanvi Sundriyal for her alleged negligence in dealing with COVID-19 as cases surge.

The district, having a population of 13 lakh, on May 18 reported its single-day steepest hike of 69 cases, prompting Pandhana MLA Ram Dangore to make the request to Mr. Chouhan.

“Today, Khandwa district is going through a sensitive phase. The Khandwa Collector is hiding figures relating to deaths,” alleged Mr. Dangore, in a letter.

Stating that for better arrangements a new Collector was required, he wrote, “It is my request to you to take the trouble of immediately removing the present Collector.”

Ms. Sundriyal refused to comment on the charges.

Several of the district’s initial cases are linked to Indore, the worst-hit city in Madhya Pradesh, which also falls in the Indore division. As on May 18, 165 persons have tested positive for the illness, while eight have died of it and 41 recovered.

In the past 15 days, the district had stepped up sampling which was resulting in new cases being detected, said Ms. Sundriyal. “Most of the recent cases are primary contacts of the previous ones. On some days, we sent even 200 samples for testing,” she explained.

The district’s test positivity rate is 8%, as against the State’s 4.6%. “A higher rate means our identification process is proper,” she added. Both the district and the State have recorded a case fatality rate of 4.8%, while the State recovery rate of 46.5% is higher than the district’s 24.8%.

Ms. Sundriyal said the district’s focus was on treating patients before their condition worsened. “Many are visiting hospitals only in the later stages of their illnesses. So, we are collecting data on everyone with influenza-like illnesses and non-communicable diseases, which make them more susceptible to coronavirus,” she added.

Further, she said, those aged above 60 years and pregnant women were being treated in intensive care unit-like setups so that they could be monitored closely.

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