Maharashtra district launches contest to curb Omicron spread, winner to get ₹50 lakh

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Amid the surge in cases of coronavirus across India, Maharashtra’s Pune district launched the “Covid-Free Village” Contest to curb the spread of the virus and its Omicron variant.

The contest started in Pune district on 10 January and will continue till mid-March. The three best-performing villages from the Pune division will be awarded cash prizes in terms of development funds by the state government.

The district administration has issued detailed guidelines to explain the contest.

As per guidelines, at the end of the contest, three best-performing villages will be selected and will be judged for their performance in COVID management on 22 parameters.

The best performers will be awarded 50 lakh for 1st place, 25 Lakh for second and 15 lakh for the village at third place.

Pune Zilla Parishad, Chief Executive Officer Ayush Prasad said, “For keeping rural area of Pune district Covid free, we have announced a competition among all gram panchayats of Pune district to encourage them for better Covid management in the rural areas,”

“This is basically done to provide the best service for preventing outbreaks of COVID-19 in villages. The winner of the contest will be granted funds for the development of the respective gram panchayat,” Prasad said.

He further added, “Through this initiative, our focus is on all the gram panchayat for proper Covid management and to create awareness.”

This would be supported by police and health officials at that level. This is a part of preventive measures to protect a large number of people from Omicron spread, he added.

Meanwhile, Pune on Tuesday recorded 6,110 COVID-19 cases at a positivity rate of 21 percent, taking the district’s tally to 12,01,439, while the death toll increased by one to touch 19,271, an official said. 

A total of 3,459 cases were reported in Pune city, 1,706 in Pimpri Chinchwad, and 945 cases in rural and cantonment areas, he said. The active tally stands at 32,672, of which 1,504 are in hospitals, he added.

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