Maharashtra sees 14,348 fresh Covid-19 infections, tally now 1,430,861
Fresh infections in Maharashtra came further down to 14,348 on Saturday, which took the case count to 1,430,861. Active cases also reduced slightly to 258,108, accounting for 18.03% of the total.
The toll climbed up to 37,758 after 278 casualties were reported. Of them, 151 deaths were in the past 48 hours, another 64 were from the past week, while the remaining 63 fatalities were from the period before that, health officials said.
Fresh infections have not gone up in almost two weeks. However, officials said that they have to wait for more time to draw any conclusions as there are chances that cases are likely to rise in the backdrop of fresh relaxations in the lockdown.
Statistics released by the state health department showed that fresh infections were rising till the second week of September, but later they went on a downward trend.
In the first week of September, the Covid-19 cases reported were 130,789, second week — 153,972, third week — 148,365 , fourth week — 126,773 and in the past five days (till October 3), it has reported 79,708 infections.
“The trend is relieving as it indicates that the situation is coming under control. It also signifies that we are on the right path. However, we will have to wait for some time to reach any conclusion as fresh relaxations will come into effect from October 5, which may result in a surge in cases,” said a senior official from the state health department.
The state has declared to allow hotels, food courts, restaurants and bars to operate at 50% of the total capacity from October 5. It has also allowed all industrial and manufacturing units of non-essential units to operate in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Trains originating and ending their journey within the state have been allowed to restart with immediate effect.
Dr Subhash Salukhe, chairman, communicable diseases prevention control and technical committee of the state, said that this is a signal of plateauing of cases, however, if people at large did not co-operate, then we will be pushed back to the previous position
“After a protracted period of nearly a couple of months, the overall situation seems to be improving. We see this as a signal of plateauing of cases, however, we need peoples’ cooperation. If they follow all the basic precautions and don’t step out of their homes in large numbers during Dussehra and Diwali, unlike in Ganesh festival, then a downward trend by November is possible. If people don’t co-operate, then we may have to face consequences,” Dr Salunkhe said.
Despite comparative decline in cases, casualties from the pandemic are yet to reduce. Other states don’t have even half the casualties compared to Maharashtra. Tamil Nadu has reported second-highest number of deaths — 9,586 in the country.
The case fatality rate (CFR) is reducing, but that is due to the high daily infection rate. On Saturday, state’s CFR was recorded at 2.64%, making it second after Punjab. The CFR of Punjab was 3.01% (with 3,501 deaths) till Friday, according to the information shared by the state medical education department.
Mumbai continued to report the highest number of cases across the state as it recorded 2,402 infections on Saturday, pushing its tally to 212,462. Of them, active cases were 29,314. It has also recorded 46 deaths.
Pune city contributed second-highest infections in the daily caseload as it recorded 1,077 cases, taking its tally to 158,903, while Pune district became the third-highest contributor with 721 cases, pushing its count to 64,487. The combined tally of Pune goes to 1,798 cases.
The state also completed 7 lakh tests with 75,093 tests conducted on Saturday. The tally stood at 7,035,296.
As many as 23 people tested positive in Chandigarh on Thursday, highest in three months. It was on February 26 last that the city had recorded 25 infections, following which their number crossed the 20 mark only once on May 11, when 22 people were found infected. The new cases were reported from Sectors 8, 11, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 44, 48 and 38 (West), Daria, Khuda Lahora, Manimajra and PGIMER campus.
A snatcher took away the mobile phone of an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) from Cheema Chowk in Industrial Area's Phase 8. Investigating officer Swaranjit Singh said Ravinder Kumar, who is posted at Police Lines, was talking to one of his family members on Wednesday night, when the bike-borne snatcher struck. In another case, two youths snatched the purse of one Rashi Srivastva in Chandigarh's Sector 44.
A 50-year-old newspaper delivery man was killed after a Mahindra Thar rammed into Balbir's scooter at the Sector 17/18 traffic lights on early Thursday morning. The victim was identified as Balbir Singh Rana, who hailed from Uttarakhand and lived with his family in Kishangarh village, Chandigarh. Police said while he was approaching the Sector 17/18 light point, a speeding Mahindra Thar, bearing a Chandigarh registration number, hit his Honda Activa from behind.
Punjab and Haryana high court's directions to the central government to consider conversion of Panjab University into a central university has evoked mixed reactions from various stakeholders related to the university. Panjab University Teachers Association president Mritunjay Kumar said they were awaiting the outcome of HC's direction, as PUTA's focus was also on bringing PU teachers under Central Service Rules, which were already applicable for teachers at UT colleges.
The customs department on Thursday caught two passengers with 4,142 gm gold, which was being illegally smuggled at the Chandigarh International Airport. Both passengers had arrived in the Indigo flight from Dubai at 4.30 pm. Customs officials also frisked another passenger from the same flight and recovered 142 gm gold in the form of five chains, which were concealed in clothes inside a backpack.