With 985 deaths, Maharashtra sees record jump in daily Covid-19 toll, Mumbai’s new cases increase
Maharashtra on Wednesday recorded the highest toll due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) with 985 deaths, while 63,309 more people were detected positive, according to the state health department’s bulletin. The caseload has now climbed to 4,473,394, including 67,214 deaths and more than 3.73 million recoveries, the bulletin showed.
The state’s capital Mumbai, which was seeing a fall in its daily cases also recorded a rise on Wednesday with 4,926 people testing positive, taking the caseload to 640,409. The city’s death toll is nearing 13,000 with 78 deaths seen on Wednesday.
The lockdown-like restrictions in Maharashtra are likely to get extended by another 15 days, state health minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday adding that many other ministers in the cabinet agreed for the extension in order to break the chain of transmission.
The restrictions were imposed from April 14 to May 1 banning the movement of people, closure of movie halls, auditoriums, malls, gyms etc. Only essential services are exempted. On April 22, another set of restrictions were introduced by the Maha Vikas Aghadi-led state government on inter-city and inter-district travel, office attendance, and weddings till May 1.
Tope pointed out these restrictions have helped in bringing stability in cases hoping they will start declining in the near future.
Maharashtra on Wednesday joined the list of states which will provide free vaccination to all residents between the ages of 18-44 in the third phase of the nationwide vaccination drive, scheduled to start from May 1. All residents will have to register themselves on the CoWin app in order to get inoculated, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office said.
They will be further divided into three categories- 18-25 years, 26-35 years and 39 to 44 years in order to avoid any inconvenience, Tope said on Wednesday.
However, Maharashtra is still continuing to report a shortage of vaccine doses. Health minister Tope said a full-fledged roll-out of the May 1 vaccination drive is not possible due to this shortage and the state government is unlikely to get vaccine doses from both Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech before May 20.
According to news agency PTI, health experts have warned a slowdown in Maharashtra’s vaccination drive can pave the way for a third wave of the Covid-19 disease in the state.