Close to 600,000 Covid-19 cases in March for Maharashtra
As the fear of another lockdown looms over Maharashtra, March 2021, with two days still to go, is on its way to be the state’s worst month, in terms of Covid-19 cases. The state’s battle against the pandemic had crossed a year earlier this month.
Maharashtra has recorded 590,448 cases from March 1 to March 29, while the worst month, September 2020, had seen 593,192 infections, data revealed.
Another grim statistic: While Maharashtra had entered 2021 with a huge drop in cases compared to the previous three months, the new cases recorded this month has also surpassed the tally of the past four months. Between November 2020 and February 2021, the state had recorded 487,519 infections.
On Monday, the state recorded 31,643 cases and 102 deaths, a day after recording its sharpest single-day spike of 40,414 cases. The state’s tally is now 2,745,518 cases and toll 54,283. Since March 17, Maharashtra has been recording more than 20,000 cases every day. The state has also recorded 2,129 deaths this month.
Dr Rahul Pandit, a member of the state-appointed task force, said the numbers will continue to rise in the state. “It will rise further as tests have increased. We will have to keep testing more until the positivity rate goes down,” Dr Pandit said. The state’s positivity rate on Monday was 14.08%, while the recovery rate is 85.71%. The state has been conducting more than 100,000 tests every day for the last few weeks.
The only silver lining in this second wave is that the death rate is still low, despite the increasing number of cases. The case fatality rate (CFR) in the state has also reduced to 1.98% as of Monday, as per data released by the public health department.
“While the death rate is still comparable to November-December 2020, the absolute numbers are still high,” Dr Pandit said.
Dr Avinash Supe, chairman of the death audit committee, said the late arrival of patients is still a problem being faced by authorities. “While it is a rapidly spreading strain, patients are recovering, however, late arrival is still a problem,” Dr Supe said.
On Monday, Mumbai also recorded more than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases with 5,890 cases and 12 deaths, taking the tally to 404,614 and 11,665 fatalities to date. In a meeting held on Sunday, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray also asked officials to draw up a strategy for a lockdown. The state has already imposed a night curfew wherein more than 5 people cannot be seen together between 8pm and 7am. A day after the CM asked the administration to make preparations for a lockdown, the ruling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said it was not in favour of a lockdown and instead, the government should strengthen infrastructure.
The state has 336,584 active patients currently, with the highest in Pune (59,475), Mumbai (46,248), Nagpur (45,322), Thane (35,264) and Nashik (26,553). Currently, 1,607,415 people in the state are in home quarantine, while 16,614 are in institutional quarantine.