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Maha sees 227 Covid-19 deaths, highest 1-day toll since Oct 17

The number of new Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra jumped to 39,544 on Wednesday, after two days of comparatively lower numbers, even as the single-day toll rose to 227, highest since October 17, 2020 (250 deaths)
By Naresh Kamath, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON APR 01, 2021 12:14 AM IST

The number of new Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra jumped to 39,544 on Wednesday, after two days of comparatively lower numbers, even as the single-day toll rose to 227, highest since October 17, 2020 (250 deaths). Also, the last time the state saw more than 200 deaths in a day was on October 20, 2020 (213 casualties).

The Maharashtra government, in order to ramp up Covid-19 testing, has reduced RT-PCR test rates to 500 and antigen tests to 150 for private laboratories.

Commenting on the rise in deaths, Dr Tatyarao Lahane, director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), said the problem was that many citizens tend to ignore the initial signs. “We have observed many just tend to neglect signs like headache or body ache. They are seen to test late after their condition gets worse and hence many then succumb to this virus,” said Dr Lahane.

Dr Lahane said although 167,078 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, the government wants to increase test rates further and hence the reduction in prices of tests. “We feel that if test prices are slashed, it will encourage more people to test themselves,” said Dr Lahane.

The number of deaths in the previous five days was 633 and with the addition of 227 fatalities on Wednesday, the total deaths over six days is 860. The total state toll due to Covid-19 is 54,649, with Mumbai leading the state with 11,690 fatalities, followed by Pune’s 8,326.

Maharashtra’s case tally stood at 2,812,980.

Dr Neeta Khandelwal, a consultant at Bombay Hospital, said efforts must be made to increase the number of vaccinations to control this toll. “There should be mandatory mass vaccinations for all. Vaccines will reduce the severity of the virus and also bring the death rate down considerably,” said Khandelwal. She said the government needs to strictly penalise people who tend to violate the guidelines and force them to wear masks and observe social distancing. The total number of active cases in the state stood at 356,243, with Pune leading with 64,277 cases, followed by Mumbai at 49,953 active infections.

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