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State witnesses its highest one-day spike of 63,729 Covid cases

Amid the rampant violation of lockdown norms, the state witnessed its highest one-day spike of 63,729 Covid cases, which took the tally to 3,703,584 on Friday
By Surendra P Gangan, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON APR 17, 2021 01:44 AM IST

Amid the rampant violation of lockdown norms, the state witnessed its highest one-day spike of 63,729 Covid cases, which took the tally to 3,703,584 on Friday.

Maharashtra also saw 398 deaths on Friday, the highest one-day spike in 196 days, after 424 on October 2, 2020. The toll touched 59,551, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.61%.

Public health minister Rajesh Tope said the state was considering tightening restrictions, while deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, too, warned Pune residents of a complete lockdown, if rules are flouted.

Home minister Dilip Walse Patil also said the police force will have to strictly enforce the lockdown if people don’t pay heed.

“People are flouting rules resulting in crowding at public places. A strict lockdown of 15 days is necessary. If violations continue, we will impose a stricter lockdown in the state,” said Tope. “Pune residents gave a good response to the weekend lockdown. I am hoping they will follow the rules in the upcoming days. Otherwise, as some of my fellow ministers have warned, a complete lockdown may have to be imposed. I request citizens to follow the rules and do not push the administration to take this decision. In complete lockdown, many suffered hardships,” Pawar said. “We have directed the police to restrain from using force against violators as unlike last year’s lockdown, this time we have allowed essential services. However, people are still not following the restrictions and Covid-19 protocol. In such a scenario, the police will have no option,” said Walse Patil.

While the state caseload kept hovering around 60,000 cases over the past one week, the cases in Mumbai saw a slight dip after crossing the 10,000-mark thrice in the first week of the month. With 8,803 new cases on Friday, the tally stands at 562,207 and toll at 12,250, with the addition of 53 new deaths.

Pune district, however, topped the chart with 11,045 cases, including 5,437 in city, 3,082 in rural parts and 2,526 in Pimpri-Chinchwad. The district also logged 47 deaths, of which 36 were in the city. The number of cases remained high in cities such as Nagpur (4,190), Nashik (2,459) and Aurangabad (775). The Mumbai Metropolitan Region clocked 17,635 cases, accounting for 27.67% of the total of the cases in the state.

The number of active cases in the state rose to 638,034, while the recovery rate fell to 81.12%, as the number of recovered patients is much below the daily caseload.

While the state government is struggling with shortage of liquid medical oxygen, Remdesivir injections and vaccine, the state authorities have said the supply of Remdesivir is expected to be normalised in the next few days. The state has a stock of vaccine more than 1.3 million doses, which will last for three days. The state has also started mobilising the transportation to fetch the LMO stock from other states, made available by the central government.

State public health minister Rajesh Tope said, “We have been consuming the entire daily production of about 1500 metric tonnes for patients and are facing shortage in the wake of rise in the number of patients. Besides the procurement from other states, we have directed collectors to use technologies like pressure swing absorption oxygen generator and oxygen concentrators.”

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