BEST to resume bus ops from Monday; Covid tally is 82,968
Meanwhile, state health minister Rajesh Tope announced that the government will procure 10,000 vials of Remdesivir injections for critical patients.Updated: Jun 07, 2020 02:29 IST
The state on Saturday reported 2,739 new Covid-19 cases and 120 more deaths, taking the tally and toll to 82,968 and 2,969 respectively, as the government moved towards easing curbs in a graded manner, which includes BEST resuming bus operations, albeit with restrictions, in the city from Monday — around three months after it was shut owing to the pandemic. The state expects the coronavirus curve to start flattening within the next 10 days.
Meanwhile, state health minister Rajesh Tope announced that the government will procure 10,000 vials of Remdesivir injections for critical patients.
Mumbai, the worst-affected Indian city, saw 1,274 more cases, taking its count to 47,354, while the toll rose to 1,577 with 58 more deaths. The state’s recovery rate improved to 45.06% as 37,390 infected people have been discharged so far. A total of 2,234 patients recovered in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate slightly increased to 3.57% as the past five days have seen an average of more than 100 deaths reported per day. The state health department has, however, clarified that only 30 deaths happened in the past two days, while the remaining 90 casualties are from the May 3 to June 3.
The state government has started rolling out its Mission Begin Again from Wednesday by extending more relaxations in a phase-wise manner. After allowing travelling within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and opening of shops on odd-even basis early this week, private offices will start operating at 10% of their total staff strength from Monday. The state government expects an initial surge in cases in the wake of these relaxations, but it is also hopeful about a downward trend in the next ten days.
Dr Sanjay Oak, who heads a task-force of 11 doctors constituted by the government for the clinical management of critically ill patients, said a flattening of the curve is expected by June 17. “I look at Wuhan where the flattening of the curve was witnessed on the 72nd or 76th day of the lockdown, and by that parameter, we expect it in the next ten days. We also expect herd immunity to develop among people in the next few days. There will be a rise in cases over the next ten days in Mumbai owing to the resumption of activities. There is no doubt that there would be a surge, but there is no need to worry as the infrastructure is ready to cope with the surge,” he said.
State health officials say that Mumbai is expected to take ten days more than Wuhan due to the high density of population and hence they expect the downward trend by June 15.
According to the officials from the state government, authorities have been directed to tighten curbs in containment zones and at the same time improve health infrastructure at the local level. “There will be a rise in Covid-19 cases over the next few days after the beginning of relaxations in the lockdown. Like the surge witnessed in districts such as Osamanabad, Beed, Parbhani, there will be a rise in cases in the red zones over the next week. The authorities have been asked to brace for complete tracing in 24 hours after a patient is reported. Most of the cases reported in the rural parts and semi-urban areas are patients who are travelling from big cities such as Mumbai and Pune. The authorities have been directed to monitor the influx minutely to contain the spread from these travellers,” an official, who did not want to be quoted, said.
Dr Oak said that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been requested to begin medical camps in densely populated areas from Sunday to trace vulnerable people at the early stage. He said this would help them in keeping the number of Covid-19 cases in check.
Tope announced on Saturday that the state government will procure 10,000 vials of Remdesivir injection. “The injection proved effective against SARS infection and is expected to be beneficial for coronavirus too as suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO). We have decided to purchase 10,000 vials of the injection from the Corporate Social Responsibility fund of corporate houses,” he said.
“GoM to procure 10k vials of Remdesivir. Based on evidence from Laboratory, animal and clinical studies, It has generated promising results in MERS-CoV and SARS, which are also caused by coronavirus,” Tope tweeted.
The injection, which is expensive, is being used by some Covid-19 patients who can afford it. Tope said that the state government will finalise standard operation procedure for the use of injections for general patients.
Of the 120 deaths reported on Saturday, 90 were from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), including 58 in Mumbai, 10 in Thane and six each in Ulhasnagar and Navi Mumbai. Ten were in Pune and five each in Satara, Nashik and Mira-Bhayander. 53 of the people who died were above 60 years of age and 69 of them had comorbidities .
The state now has 85 testing laboratories functional, including 38 private labs. 14,178 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, with a positivity rate of 19.31%. State has 3,603 containment zones, which have greater curbs of lockdown in place, while 18,422 surveillance teams ensure tracing of contacts. Currently, 5,46,566 people are under home quarantine.
Meanwhile, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar warned private hospitals with strict action against negligence in treating infected patients. He has directed authorities to take strict action against the hospital administration for unethical practices and appoint senior officials for the coordination.
Tope also hinted that the fall in coronavirus tests is expected after the committee of the state medical officers appointed for the fixation of the rate submits its report. He said that since the kits required for the tests are now available in the domestic market, the charges of the test need to be looked into again.
The state health department issued a notification on Saturday, allowing home quarantine for Covid-19 patients with no or very mild symptoms. The norm ,which was applicable in Mumbai, has now been allowed across the state. Patients with adequate facilities for home isolation will be allowed to home quarantine for 17 days from the sample taken for the test. Dedicated caretaker for such a patient has been made mandatory. The notification has also issued guidelines for such home isolation.