Highest 1-day spike of 11,147 cases takes Maha tally to 411,798

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Published on Jul 31, 2020 12:06 AM IST
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BySurendra P Gangan, Mumbai

Maharashtra on Thursday recorded its highest single-day spike in Covid-19 cases with 11,147 new infections, taking the tally to 411,798. The daily caseload crossed the 10,000 mark for the second time, with the first being on July 22, when the tally jumped by 10,576.

As of Thursday, the state has 148,150 active cases with 248,615 patients having recovered so far, including 8,860 in the past 24 hours. The state’s recovery rate stood at 60.37%, below the national rate of 64.41%.

After ramping up testing capacity over the past couple of weeks, the state conducted 53,894 tests on Thursday —highest ever in a day — and also saw a rise in the positivity rate to 20.68%, from Wednesday’s rate of 19.32%.

Mumbai reported 1,208 cases and 53 deaths, taking the tally to 113,199 and toll to 6,300. Of the fatalities reported in the past 24 hours, Pune district saw 83, including 52 in Pune city, 21 in Pune rural and 10 in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Navi Mumbai reported 10 fatalities, Thane city, Kalyan-Dombivli and Raigad rural reported six each. The case fatality rate (CFR) of the state stood at 3.58%, above the national rate of 2.23% on Wednesday.

Pune city topped the chart of daily infections in the state with 1,889 cases in the past 24 hours. Pune reported 3,309 cases, including 433 in Pune rural and 987 in Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Although state authorities are expecting a downward trend of the virus curve in the next few weeks, they are also wary about a surge, owing to the easing of relaxations. The state government on Wednesday had announced it would allow malls to open and non-team sports like golf course, tennis, mallakhamb to happen from August 5. The capacity of passengers in taxi and private cars has also been increased to three, although they still remain restricted for essential services. Two wheelers, too, have been allowed with pillion rider, albeit with mandatory mask and helmet.

“Whenever the relaxations from lockdown curbs were extended, we have witnessed a surge in cases. With activities in malls and at playgrounds allowed and expected crowding during Eid and Ganpati, there could be another spike in cases over next few weeks. Chief minister is wary about the second wave of the outbreak if the lockdown is not handled properly. The civic bodies and district administration have been asked to tighten vigilance in containment zones,” said a state government official, requesting anonymity.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said in Pune on Thursday that the strict implementation of the lockdown curbs were being done, while lifting the restrictions in a phased manner. He said that keeping the growth rate and fatality rate in control was a challenge. “Citizens need to be alert in the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak we are going through. The civic bodies and district collectors should implement an awareness drive for social distancing and hygiene protocols that need to be observed. The local bodies should also ensure that patients are not inconvenienced.”

Thackeray has also directed the private laboratories to inform the municipal corporations first about the test reports, so that the patients are attended to immediately by doing appropriate arrangements. “Patients with positive reports most of the time avoid admitting themselves to hospitals, leading to the rise in the death rate. Proper coordination could avoid this. The civic bodies in Aurangabad, Nashik and Pune need to ramp up the health infrastructure for which the state government would provide financial assistance,” he said.

Eight municipal corporations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) still report a high number of cases. Mira-Bhayander commissioner Vijay Rathod said, “We traced 2.90 lakh people over the last few weeks to ensure that every high-risk contact was tested and treated. We have ramped up tests to the rate of 400 tests per day per million against the Central guideline of 140 tests.”

Jalgaon, one of the districts with high fatality rate, reported a spike in cases over the last couple of days. Nagoji Chavan, civil surgeon of Jalgaon district said the rise was owing to the rise in tests. “We have been aggressively tracking and tracing contacts in our bid to contain the spread by tracing around 20 people per patient to arrest the spread and treat them early. This has helped us in bringing down the CFR to 4.6%, which was more than 13 few weeks ago. We have also strengthened our infrastructure by ramping up the bed capacity in the city to 13,000 beds, so as to tackle the rise in cases. Inspite of this, we are expecting the cases to rise for the next few weeks,” he said.

State currently has 9,04,141 people under home quarantine and 50,456 people in institutional quarantine.

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Thursday, December 09, 2021