47,827 cases: Maha’s highest one-day rise
Maharashtra on Friday recorded 47,827 cases, the highest ever in a day so far. It has breached 2.9 million mark, pushing the count to 2,904,076. It was the second consecutive day when the state reported 40,000 plus cases and third consecutive day when fatalities crossed the 200-mark. Similarly, Mumbai also reported a record number of cases — 8,844.
Terming the situation as worrisome, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray warned that he will have to re-impose lockdown if the situation persists and cases continue to rise sharply.
The ongoing surge has resulted in a sharp rise in active cases as well that rose to 389,832, which comes to 13.42% of the total cases. It means a rise of 12% in less than two months.
On February 11, there were 35,633 active cases against 2,052,253 total cases, which comes to 1.73%. It was the day when daily cases in the state started rising after a gap of three months.
Maharashtra saw 202 deaths taking the toll to 55,379. Nagpur city had the highest deaths with 24 fatalities and 6 from its rural areas. Nanded reported 22 deaths. Of them, 12 were recorded in the city and 10 in rural areas. Meanwhile, Mumbai added 19 fatalities, pushing its toll to 11,727. The city’s active case count rose to 57,687.
“If no solution is found to contain the spread, the decision of lockdown will be taken after two days, the chief minister said, adding, “I am not announcing a lockdown but warning about it.”
Pointing out towards an imminent health care crisis in the state, Thackeray during his social media live interaction said as cases are rising, there is a scarcity of healthcare workers. “As far as the health infrastructure is concerned, we have been ramping up continuously, but where will we get doctors and healthcare workers? If the current growth in Covid cases continues for the next 15-20 days, all the hospital beds will be full, there could also be a shortage of oxygen,” he pointed out.
According to health experts, the cases will continue to rise sharply in the coming days before hitting a plateau.
Dr Rahul Pandit, member of the state-appointed task force for the clinical management of critical patients, said, “The sharp rise in cases will continue in the coming days. We are expecting to hit the plateau hopefully in this month after which the cases will start coming down gradually. The daily cases have shot up as the state has increased daily testing in big numbers and also improved tracking contacts of Covid patients.”
He said the state will have to continue increasing testing figures until the positivity rate comes down to 5% or below to control the situation.
In the past 24 hours, the state tested 183,378 samples, highest ever in a day, and had a positivity rate of 26.08%. The overall positivity rate of the state stood at 14.41%. It has also reported recoveries of 24,126 patients on Friday taking the tally of recovered patients to 2,457,494.
Thackeray called a meeting of senior officials on Friday to review the situation. He discussed a slew of strict restrictions that can be imposed to break the transmission chain. Union cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba also chaired a high-level review meeting with chief secretaries, director general of police (DGP) and health secretaries of all the states/union territories with focus on 11 states/union territories including Maharashtra that have been reporting very high rise in daily Covid-19 cases and daily mortality. They were categorized as “states of grave concern” on account of their high and rising daily case and higher daily deaths.
In the meeting it was pointed out the situation was particularly worrying in Maharashtra. The state was advised to take up immediate and high effective measures to ensure containment of active cases and daily deaths through adherence of the standard clinical management protocol shared by the Centre earlier with all the states and UTs, stated a release issued by the ministry of health and family welfare.
With 4,766 cases, Pune city recorded the second highest cases across the state. The combined tally of Pune city and district went up to 6,723 in a day.
From Saturday evening, stringent curbs will be imposed in Pune district with a curfew in place from 6pm to 6am and all eateries, malls, cinema halls and religious places to remain shut for the next seven
Pune divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao announced fresh restrictions after reviewing the situation in the city, at a meeting chaired by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Friday.