Covid-19 cases past 1,300,000 in Maharashtra, fatalities near 35,000

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Published on Sep 26, 2020 12:09 AM IST
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By, Mumbai

Maharashtra on Friday went past 1,300,000 Covid-19 cases, with 17,794 fresh infections taking the tally to 1,300,757. The latest 100,000 cases came in five days, after the state had moved from 1,100,000 to 1,200,000 cases in four days — fastest rise of 100,000 infections so far — on September 20. The state also reported 416 Covid-19 fatalities on Friday, taking its toll to 34,761. According to the state health department, of the 416 deaths, 228 were from the past 48 hours, 106 are from last week and 82 from the period before last week.

While the active cases in Maharashtra rose to 272,775, Friday witnessed 19,592 people recovering, taking the total number of recoveries to 992,806. The state’s recovery rate stands at 76.33%.

Mumbai, meanwhile, repo-rted 1,876 fresh infections as its case count rose to 194,303, and an addition of 48 fatalities took the city’s toll to 8,706. Mumbai has 28,395 active Covid-19 cases.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who held a review meeting to assess the Covid-19 situation in Pune division and Konkan region, said easing of lockdown restrictions increased the threat of the virus spreading. Thackeray asked people to ensure they wear masks and maintain social distancing to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The Konkan region, which comprises of Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts, has witnessed a surge in cases and fatalities in the past month. Senior health department officials said the movement of people from hotspots to Konkan region during Ganeshotsav in August was the primary reason for the increase in cases.

Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg saw a rise of 78%, 124% and 237% in cases, respectively, between August 25 and September 24.

During the same period, fatalities rose by 48% in Raigad, 163% in Ratnagiri and 331% in Sindhudurg. In terms of active cases, Sindhudurg had 463 active cases on August 25, which rose by 186% to 1,324 on September 24. In Ratnagiri, the active cases rose from 1,502 to 2,736, while Raigad saw a rise from 4,872 to 7,920.

“We had anticipated a rise in cases after Ganeshotsav, but so far the increase is not so much that the districts would have difficulties in managing its patients. The district administration has been told to carry out rigorous contact tracing. As the region has poor connectivity, if the spike goes out of hand, it would lead to an increase in deaths,” said a bureaucrat, who was present at the CM’s meeting.

Pune division, which includes Pune, Satara and Solapur districts, too, has seen a spike in cases during the past month. Pune district witnessed a 77% rise from 155,039 infections on August 25 to 274,421 on September 24. While Satara saw a whopping 213.18% jump in cases and Solapur had a 90.54% rise.

“Keeping in mind the unlock process due to which the movement of people has increased and regular activities of people have started, the transmission is expected to increase,” said Thackeray, during the meeting, adding that public campaigns are needed to make people wear masks, sanitise their hands and maintain social distance.

Thackeray also directed district officials to take assistance and guidance from the Covid task force members while treating critical patients. He said the state government’s ‘My Family, My Responsibility’ campaign will help create a “health map” of Maharashtra and make its people fit. The campaign, which was kicked-off on September 15, aims to survey and screen households in the state to detect Covid-19 patients as well as those with comorbidities.

Volunteers were compiling data of those who had been detected with the infection, those who had recovered and their post-coronavirus situation, Thackeray said. “In Konkan, 10.63 lakh families have been surveyed. In Pune, they have surveyed 182 villages and 13 municipal councils,” the CM said, adding that the campaign was being extended in Pune to include factories, housing societies and civic wards.


    Swapnil Rawal is Principal Correspondent with the Hindustan Times. He covers urban development and infrastructure. He had long stints with leading national dailies and has experience of over a decade in journalism.

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