Maha sees sharpest one-day case spike for 5th day in a rowUpdated: Jun 28, 2020, 23:49 IST
The state on Sunday, for the fifth day in a row, recorded its sharpest single-day jump in Covid-19 cases with 5,493 more infections, even as chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the ongoing lockdown would not be lifted after June 30. The state case count went up to 164,626 and toll rose to 7,429 with the addition of 156 deaths on Sunday.
Mumbai saw 1,287 more infections on Sunday, taking its total to 75,539. With the addition of 87 deaths, the toll of the city is 4,371. The state health department has, however, said that 60 of the fatalities added on Sunday were reported in the past two days, while the remaining 96 are from the past few weeks.
Thackeray, who completed seven months as the CM on Sunday, said the ongoing lockdown will not be lifted after its fifth phase ends on June 30, although the government was mulling more relaxations under its ‘Mission Begin Again’ — a staggered plan to lift curbs.
Thackeray said that as the government is opening up activities in a calibrated manner, cases are expected to rise in the coming days.
Thackeray, in his address through Facebook live, said that the risk of Covid-19 and the battle against the virus has not passed yet, but the government is relaxing curbs in a phased manner. The state government is expected to decide on relaxations in industrial, commercial activities after the Central government issues its guidelines. Thackeray is scheduled to hold high-level meetings with his cabinet colleagues and top officials over the next two days.
He also has warned that the government machinery will be forced to impose stricter lockdown curbs again if the guidelines were not followed by people. “I have been getting requests from a few civic authorities for permission to impose stricter lockdown, owing to the rising numbers. There are cases of violations of curbs in some cities such as Mumbai, Pune and even in rural areas. In case of violations of curbs, we will have no option, but to go for stricter imposition of lockdown in areas with rise in cases,” he said.
Thackeray said that there will be a spike in infections in the next few weeks. “As we have been opening up activities to ensure the revival of the economy, we have been witnessing a rise in cases. As part of the relaxation, people step out of their homes, come in contact and spread the virus. Even in the near future, there will be a rise in cases as we open up more activities,” he said.
State health department expects the rise in cases during July and August. “There will be a modulating trend in terms of cases for the next few weeks, before we expect the plateau in August,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
After allowing salons and beauty parlours to open from Sunday in the fourth phase of Mission Begin Again, the state government is expected to extend more relaxations in transport facilities and industrial operations. It has also hinted at allowing more workforce in private and even government offices.
State has been reporting more than 5,000 cases a day for the past three days. It has seen 32, 551 cases and 1,259 deaths in the past seven days, with a daily average of 4,650 cases and 180 deaths respectively. Mumbai’s growth of cases has comparatively improved as it reported 9,051 cases and 700 deaths during this period.
State’s case fatality rate (CFR) dropped to 4.51% from 4.69% on June 16, the day on which there was an addition of 1,328 deaths as part of the reconciliation of data. The CFR was 3.79% on June 15. The recovery rate of the state has improved to 52.59% as 86,575 patients were reported to have recovered from the infection.
Thackeray said that the state government is ready to take on the surge. “We have increased testing facilities. Instead of waiting for the virus to attack us, we have been chasing it. After it has proven successful in Mumbai, the ‘chase the virus’ drive is being implemented elsewhere in the state. It will help us in containing the spread. The government has received permission from the Centre for the use of remdesivir and favipiravin, the antiviral drugs, and they will be made available to citizens free of cost once adequate stock is procured,” he said.
Thackeray said that the government was inaugurating plasma therapy testing centres in Maharashtra on Monday and it will, perhaps, help us Maharashtra become the top state to provide the facility with the highest number of tests for the therapy. We appeal to people who recovered from the infection to come forward for the test of therapy so that other patients can benefit from them,” he said. The CM also appealed to doctors from the private sector to come forward and guide their colleagues from the healthcare sector to treat patients effectively.