Covid-19 infections go past 1,400,000 in Maharashtra; toll 37,056Updated: Oct 02, 2020, 00:20 IST
Maharashtra on Thursday went past 1,400,000 Covid-19 cases, with 16,476 fresh infections taking the tally to 1,400,922. The latest 100,000 cases came in six days, indicating a drop in new infections, after the state had moved from 1,100,000 to 1,200,000 in four days and then to 1,300,000 in five days. Mumbai reported 2,352 new cases and 43 fatalities, taking the tally to 207,620 and toll to 8,972. The state reported 394 deaths on Thursday, taking its toll to 37,056.
Of them, 229 were from the past 48 hours, 103 were from last week and remaining 62 were from the period before it, according to the state health department.
Pune and Nagpur districts witnessed a drop in cases over the past few days, while cases in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) slightly increased to 28.28% of the state figures, after hovering between 23% and 25% last week. Pune reported 2,625 cases (1,069 in city, 953 in rural parts and 603 in Pimpri-Chinchwad) and added 45 new deaths, including 10 each in rural parts and Pimpri-Chinchwad, and 25 in city. After Mumbai and Pune, Nashik in north Maharashtra saw the highest caseload at 1,290 cases, while Nagpur in Vidarbha clocked 999 cases and 60 deaths. Solapur, Kolhapur, Ahmednagar and Sangli in western Maharashtra remained one of the top contributors to the state tally with 460, 417, 835 and 515 cases respectively.
While the weekly case fatality rate (CFR) kept rising over the past two weeks, the positivity rate rose significantly in September to 22.37% (591,905 infections from 2,646,276 tests) from 17.91% (370,423 infections from 2,068,801 tests) in August. The positivity rate was 22.41% in July and 21.23% in June. September saw addition of 591,905 cases (42.75% of the total state cases) and 12,079 deaths (32.95% of the total deaths), highest in terms of cases and death in any months since outbreak.
State authorities have not been able to achieve the target, set in the first week of July, of bring the CFR to less than 1% and the positivity rate below 10%. The weekly CFR, which had dropped to 1.71% in the first week of September, has again risen to more than 2.3% over the last week (September 25-October 1). The overall CFR stands at 2.65%, second-highest in the country after Punjab. “It is because of low testing and the fatigue. The tracking of susceptible people is not up to the mark, leading to the late admission of infected patients. They are referred to hospitals on the third or fourth days, against the expected admission in first 48 hours. This leads to high death rate. Secondly, the number of cases was high in the second and third weeks of September and the fatalities out of those infections are being reported now,” an official from health department said.
Leader of opposition in legislative Assembly and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has slammed the state government for the rise in the positivity rate. “The rise in the positivity rate is the result of failure of increasing the expected number of tests. In August, the tests were increased by 42% over the earlier month and it resulted in the positivity rate dropping to 18%. In September, the rise in number of tests over earlier month was just 24% and it led to the rise in the positivity rate to 22.37%. CM Uddhav Thackeray during his video conference with the Prime Minister said that they were planning to increase the daily tests to 1.5 lakh, but the daily tests average in September was 88,209. The situation in Mumbai is worse, as city’s positivity rate in September rose to 17.5% from 13.63%, as the number of daily tests have restricted to the daily average of 11,715 tests in September,” he said.
Dr Sadhana Tayade, director, directorate, health services, said that they expect the positivity rate to fall in next few weeks once the tests are increased. “Our aim is to reduce the mortality rate below 1% and the positivity below 10%. It is true that we have brought the CFR below 2%, but the positivity rate is still high. Until we are tracing the people and keeping the mortality in check, positivity rate should not be a matter of worry. We are aiming to increase the number of tests by double in coming weeks and expect the positivity rate to come under control very soon. Though the effect of My Family, My Responsibility drive has not been assessed yet, we expect it to help up detecting the infection early and treating them.”