(Eds: Adds more quotes) Aurangabad, Feb 15 (PTI) The '3T formula' of tracing, testing and treatment will have to be implemented strictly to tackle a rise in COVID-19 cases in some parts of Maharashtra, state health minister Rajesh Tope said in Aurangabad on Monday.
Talking to reporters, Tope said the state government had managed to flatten the curve in the last one month as far as daily addition of cases was concerned, but a recent rise in numbers in Mumbai, Wardha and some other pockets was 'alarming'.
'We have given instructions that the 3T formula of tracing, testing and treatment be implemented strictly, effectively. Testing needs to be increased. Meanwhile, people also need to follow COVID-19 guidelines,' he added.
The minister said the situation needs to be controlled as 'we don't want to go in for a lockdown now'.
Speaking on the COVID-19 vaccination drive, Tope said the state was waiting for the Centre to start the second round of administering doses, adding that the vaccine should be given free to the 'poor and lower middle class'.
Addressing a press conference, Tope said there are Planning Commission guidelines which stipulate that 5 per cent of GDP must be spent on health infrastructure, though this expenditure had never gone beyond 1 per cent.
'We need Rs 4,000 crore to complete pending health projects in the state. We are insistent on this (higher spending of 5 per cent),' he said.
The minister also said his department had 17,000 vacant posts and recruitment tests for 8,500 were being conducted. PTI AW BNM BNM