Maharashtra’s Covid-19 tally crosses 1.5L; daily count past 5,000
State officials said they expect a further surge in cases, with the government planning to ease industrial and commercial curbs next week under its ‘Mission Begin Again’.Updated: Jun 27, 2020, 08:49 IST
Maharashtra recorded its highest single-day spike in Covid-19 cases for the third consecutive day on Friday, when 5,024 new cases took the state’s tally past 1.5 lakh to 152,765. The state’s toll rose to 7,106 with an addition of 175 fatalities. Mumbai, the worst-hit city in Maharashtra, reported 1,297 new cases, taking its coronavirus count to 72,175, while 17 deaths pushed up the city’s toll to 4,197.
State officials said they expect a further surge in cases, with the government planning to ease industrial and commercial curbs next week under its ‘Mission Begin Again’.
“The cases are expected to rise in July and August, but we are working to ensure that the case fatality rate (CFR) does not go up. We are increasing the number of doctors and ICU beds across the state,” said health minister Rajesh Tope.
The state’s CFR dropped to 4.65% from 4.69% on Thursday, against the national rate of 3.12%.
The minister also said that the state is not hiding its fatality numbers. “Due to reconciliation, a number of deaths are added from the past, but it does not mean we are hiding cases. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines are strictly followed,” Tope said.
Of the 175 deaths reported on Friday, according to the state health department, 91 are from the past two days, while the remaining 84 were from before that.
Maharashtra has reported 28,434 cases and 1,213 deaths in the past seven days, with a daily average of 4,062 cases and 173 deaths, and the state went from 100,000 to 152,765 cases in just 14 days.
Maharashtra’s recovery rate, on the other hand, has improved to 52.25%, with the total number of discharged patients going up to 79,815.
State officials, however, are wary of what’s to come, as the government has already announced opening of salons and beauty parlours from this weekend, and further easing of restrictions on industrial and commercial activities after June 30. A decision to allow running of taxis and autorickshaws is also expected to be taken soon.
“Like witnessed earlier, we expect a surge in cases after relaxations under the next phases of Mission Begin Again come into effect. To contain the rise [of cases], we are focusing on areas that have higher infections and fatalities. Ramping up of the health infrastructure is being done aggressively,” said a state government official, asking not to be named.
Dr Sadhana Tayade, director, health services, said there will be more tests conducted after the introduction of antigen and antibody testing in the state. “We cannot say if the number of positive cases will increase, but the health infrastructure across the state has been ramped up. We will be able to identify patients at an early stage, helping us in reducing the case fatality rate. The spread in rural areas is high owing to the crowding after opening up of the activities,” said Tayade, adding that they expect the state’s Covid curve to plateau in August.
Meanwhile, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting with municipal commissioners of the civic bodies in Thane district on Friday and directed them to strictly follow “tracing and testing protocol”. Thackeray convened a meeting with the commissioners of seven corporations after Covid-19 cases have risen in the areas surrounding Mumbai.
On Friday, Thane city recorded 386 new Covid-19 cases, while 343 cases were recorded in Kalyan-Dombivli. Vasai-Virar saw 203 new cases, and 236 fresh cases were recorded in Navi Mumbai. Mira-Bhayander reported 116 new cases.
Thackeray also said segregation of patients in three levels – Covid Care Centre, Dedicated Covid Health Centre and Dedicated Covid Hospitals – need to be strictly followed.
In a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), Thackeray told the commissioners that like Mumbai and other districts, Thane district, too, needs to seriously follow the laid down protocols of contact tracing and initiate treatment on patients immediately as per the protocol. It statement further said that the three level segregation of patients has been effective in Mumbai, and that needs to be replicated in neighbouring areas too. The CM asked the civic chief to look their need for more doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers.
State transport minister and Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab, meanwhile, said the decision over allowing taxis and autos to ply will be taken after consultations with the chief minister and deputy chief minister. Parab on Thursday had said the government wants to make adequate transportation facilities available for office goers and industries after more relaxations are extended.