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Maharashtra sees 14,976 Covid-19 cases, 430 more deaths

By Surendra P Gangan, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON SEP 29, 2020 11:56 PM IST

Maharashtra on Tuesday reported fewer than 20,000 Covid-19 cases for a third day in a row, with 14,976 infections taking the tally to 1,366,129. With 430 more fatalities, the death toll of the state reached 36,181.

A day after Mumbai breached the grim mark of 200,000 cases, the daily caseload, which was hovering between 2,000 and 2,300 lately, dropped to 1,713, taking the tally to 202,614 The city’s death toll touched 8,883 with 49 new fatalities reported on Tuesday. Like Mumbai, Pune district, too, clocked fewer cases on Tuesday. Pune saw 2,359 cases, including 1,005 in the city, 726 in rural parts and 628 in Pimpri-Chinchwad, and 44 deaths (25 in city, 17 in rural parts and two in Pimpri-Chichwad). Nagpur saw 1,045 cases and 49 fatalities, while Nashik clocked 1,301 cases and 14 deaths. Sangli and Kolhapur reported 478 and 318 cases, along with nine deaths each respectively.

Of the 430 fatalities, 232 were from past 48 hours, 108 were from the past week and remaining 90 were from the period before it, according to the state health department.

The cases in the state witnessed a decline over the past 10 days after reporting a daily addition of more than 20,000 cases over the major part of the past two months. Last 10 days (September 20-29) saw the addition of 178,114 cases and 3,965 deaths, against 220,666 cases and 4,429 fatalities in 10 days (September 10-19) before it. State conducted 91,1877 tests in the past 10 days, as opposed to 903,141 tests during September 10-19.

State conducted 75,640 tests at a positivity rate of 19.79%. State’s case fatality rate (CFR) stands at 2.65%.

The state government is planning to open up more activities, including restaurants and gymnasiums in next few weeks as part of its Mission Begin Again. Authorities are, however, wary about the rise in the cases because of the unlocking. “After the interdistrict restrictions on movement were lifted from September 2, a surge in cases was witnessed in the first two weeks of the month. Though there are similar possibilities after unlocking on the cards in the next few weeks, we have ramped up our machinery to contain the spread. The ‘My Family, My Responsibility’ drive will help us identify susceptible people and treat them early. Restrictions on commercial, industrial activities cannot remain in place for too long, but at the same time due care at all levels is required to be taken,” said an official from the health department.

State government is expected to issue its notification to extend the ongoing lockdown by a month and opening up of certain activities from beginning of October.

Dr Avinash Supe, former KEM dean and member of the state committee appointed to recommend steps to curb the spread, said that while easing curbs, the government should have more community participation.

“The state is planning to allow restaurants to open and also suburban railway services. Restaurants starting at 40% of their capacity should not cause the spread, but for suburban railway service, I think, the government should continue with restricted entry and go for more number of services. More participation of people and community will help in educating and bringing awareness, commitment, involvement in the drive to keep the spread at the bay,” he said.

Dr Supe said, “By end of October, there will be beginning of the decline in the cases and by December, the cases will see a drastic fall. “Mumbai should see the decline early as the spread was seen first in the city. At state level, the decline may begin by Diwali. More cases should not be the cause of worry unless the mortality is under control. The rise in the cases is because of the opening of activities and more number of tests,” he said.

Dr Ravi Warkhedkar, former national president of Indian Medical Association, said that state authorities should focus on reducing mortality rate, which is still high in the state.

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