Maharashtra goes past 2.2 million Covid-19 infections
Maharashtra on Saturday crossed a grim Covid-19 milestone of 2.2 million cases with a second consecutive day of over 10,000 infections (10,187), pushing the count to 2,208,586. It crossed 100 cases within 13 days after the 2.1 million mark was breached on February 21. Considering the situation, the Centre, too, dispatched a team to assist the state administration to contain the spread of the epidemic.
The state’s death toll reached 52,440 after 47 casualties were reported, of which 30 occurred in the past 48 hours and 10 were in the past week. The other seven deaths were from the period before last week, officials said.
The current rise in daily cases has pushed the state back to October’s situation when 10,000 plus cases used to be report every day. The average per day cases of this month also increased to 8,919, which is close to October’s numbers and the highest in the past four months. The average number of daily cases in October was 9,423. In the subsequent months, it was 4,775 cases, 3,892, 2,973 and 4,689 cases, according to figures released by the state health department.
The current high number of Covid-19 infections is likely to continue for more than a month as health officials are of the opinion that the situation would take three to four weeks to come under control.
Dr Pradip Awate, state surveillance officer, said, “As of now, it appears the rise will continue for another three to four weeks, although it will not be much, but it will be there and we will require at least a month or so to contain the spread.”
He said there was a need to make field teams more robust, for which directives have been issued. “Our field teams need to be made more robust because they perform some very important tasks such as surveillance of influenza like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI), daily monitoring of home isolated patients, contact tracing of every patient and special focus towards super spreaders. It will contain the transmission thus we have directed to divide as per the population of a particular area so that they should not be overburdened,” Dr Awate said.
To assist the state, the central government on Friday deputed a high level multi-disciplinary public health team. “It will be deployed to assist the state health department in Covid-19 surveillance, control and containment measures,” the union ministry of health and family welfare said in a statement.
It was also the fourth consecutive day Mumbai reported over 1,000 daily infections. On Saturday it recorded 1,188 cases, taking the tally to 332,208. On March 3, 4 and 5, the city reported 1,121, 1,104 and 1,174 cases respectively. With three deaths, the toll reached 11,495.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) recorded 2,208 cases which is the second-highest among the regions as Pune region’s tally was 2,212.