Maharashtra reports 4,930 Covid cases, tally reaches 1,828,826
The state reported under 5,000 Covid-19 cases for a second day in row after 4,930 fresh infections and 95 new deaths were recorded on Tuesday. The state tally reached 1,828,826, while the toll touched 47,246. Authorities said that although cases in the state are still under control, the state could see a second wave or another peak after the last week of December.
In Mumbai, too, cases remained under 1,000 for a third consecutive day with 724 new infections taking the tally to 284,191. The city saw nine deaths, taking the toll to 10,893. Pune topped the daily caseload with 923 cases (325 in rural parts, 387 in city and 211 in Pimpri-Chinchwad) and saw 32 deaths. Nagpur clocked 445 cases and three deaths, while Nashik registered 371 cases and three deaths. Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), which has been accounting for around 35% of the state’s tally for the past few weeks, saw the percentage drop to 27.5% at 1,356 cases. The fatality share of MMR, too, dropped to 15.79% with 15 deaths reported on Tuesday.
The state’s case fatality rate (CFR) dropped to 2.58%, while the recovery rate improved to 92.49%. With total recoveries standing at 1,691,412, there are 89,098 active patients in the state.
Highest active patients, 20,215 are in Pune.
Contrary to the projection by authorities, cases in the state are still under control despite unlocking and crowding in public places during Diwali. “We had been expecting a spike ten days after Diwali, but thankfully, the number of cases still hovers around 5,000. The positivity and mortality rates, too, have dipped over the past few weeks. Against this backdrop, we could expect another peak of cases, instead of a second wave,” said an official from the health department.
Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the state-appointed task force, however, has a word of caution. He said the period between December 25 and January 26 is crucial, during which there could be a second wave. “The temperature in the state starts dropping by the end of December and if the pollution level goes up during the time, we may see a surge in number. We had two peaks — in May-June and September — during the first wave, which is now receding. Despite the fact that the health protocol is not being followed perfectly and almost everything has been opened up, we have been able to keep the numbers low. It is because of the high temperature in November, restrictions on the travelling of people from Delhi, Goa and other states with high rate of spread and less pollution,” he said.
Dr Joshi said government authorities have been advised, by the task force, to keep the testing rate high and track suspected patients early to keep the mortality low. “We have increased the testing over past few days in Maharashtra. Local bodies have been told to track suspected contacts aggressively, at the ratio of 1:20, so that they are treated early. Our aim is to bring positivity rate below 5% and the CFR below 0.5%,” he said.
Meanwhile, rebutting reports that political and senior police officers are vying for vaccination in the first round, state health minister Rajesh Tope said frontline workers will be the priority during vaccination. Tope said the reports are baseless and doctors, health workers, police personnel will be given the vaccine in the first round. “The Centre and state government is closely monitoring the vaccination plan and the vaccination drive will be implemented under government regulation and as per the protocol. We would not bow before any pressure from anybody,” he said in Jalna.
He was responding to the reports that political leaders and senior police officers are lobbying for the vaccination in first round.
While government authorities have been claiming to have increased the daily testing, the state saw fewer tests — 51,962 and 59,299 — over the past two days.