State case tally rises to 9,318 as toll goes up to 400Updated: Apr 29, 2020 00:38 IST
Maharashtra reported 729 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, taking the tally to 9,318, while it saw 31 deaths, which pushed the toll up to 400. Of the deaths, 25 are in Mumbai, four in Jalgaon and two in Pune
The Mumbai tally went up to 6,169 with 393 new infections. The state health department has stated in the report that the Mumbai count of 25 deaths are for the past eight days and were not shown earlier for verification. Twenty of the state’s deaths were of patients above the age of 60, while 10 of them ranged between 40 and 59 years of age. Of them, 20 had comorbid conditions like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Meanwhile, with the state moving close to the grim 10,000 Covid-19 cases mark and more districts getting affected, the state government has directed authorities to ensure containments by careful tracing and testing.
In districts with less than 15 cases and no hotspots or containment zones, the order is to concentrate on converting orange zones into green ones.
“We have at least 11 districts marked as orange zones with less than 10 cases and no fresh case in the past 14 days, besides two districts (Wardha and Gadchiroli) as green zones, with no cases. The district collectors in orange zones have been asked to press to upgrade to green zones. Similarly, districts and municipal corporations, which are reporting a sudden spike in cases, have been asked to concentrate on containment zones and go for strict contact tracing to avoid a further spread of the virus,” said an official from the state government.
The rise in cases in Aurangabad, Solapur, Nagpur and Malegaon has caught the state machinery off guard. During his video conference on Sunday, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed the respective district and civic authorities to contain the cases. “The doubling rate in the five hotspots of Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Palghar and Nashik is three times the state rate and is a cause of concern. Similarly, orange-zone districts like Chandrapur, Jalna, Washim, Parbhani and Osmanabad, where no new cases have been found in the past few days, the number can be restricted to the existing cases. They have been told to work in that direction to bring more districts to green list,” the official said.
Gondia has found no new case in the past 28 days, paving its way to be called a green zone, as announced by the ministry of health and family welfare on Monday. District collector Kadambari Balkawade said, “The first and only patient in Gondia tested positive on March 26, since then we have been following the containment protocols rigorously. The patient had foreign travel history and had travelled through a neighbouring district. Right from tracing and treating 32 high-risk and 83 low-risk contacts, we ensured that nobody goes unattended, whoever had come in contact with these people. Since then, we have kept our machinery on surveillance to tap suspected cases.”
Till April 7, fourteen state districts were in the green zone without any positive case. Three weeks later, only two districts of the state’s 36 have no cases. Although the state government has been claiming to have improved its doubling rate by taking it to 7.01 from 3.5 days, it is way below the national rate of 10.20. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said last week that the state has aimed to take it to more than 10 days in the next few days. The recovery rate of patients in the state is 14.91%, against the national rate of 22.17%.
State health minister Rajesh Tope said the hotspots in state have reduced to five from 14 early this month.
Thackeray is expected to take stock of the situation in the state again in the next two days before taking a decision over further relaxation from the lockdown after the second phase ends on May 3. After the state government relaxed the norms for the operation of the industrial units on April 20, more than 3,200 units have started operating and 10,000 more units are in queue to open their shutters. According to officials from the industries department, the industrial units in urban areas in the districts with fewer number of the cases may get permission to operate.
State government is also expecting migrant workers, who are in shelters in various districts, to resume work as construction projects and other small scale units are starting operations. “There is neither any positive response from the Centre nor does it look feasible to send more than 5 lakh migrants to their respective states. Instead of it, engaging them in the industrial activities will prove beneficial,” said a cabinet minister requesting anonymity.
The state breached the 9,000-cases mark on Tuesday, two days after it reached 8,000 cases on Sunday. Mumbai breached the 6,000-case mark, three days after it crossed the 5,000 mark on Saturday.
After 106 patients were reported to have recovered fully on Tuesday, the total number of the patients to be discharged from hospitals has reached 1,388. A total of 1,55,170 people are home quarantined and 9,917 are under institutional quarantine. State authorities have conducted 90,223 tests at government and private labs, of which, 83,979 have tested negative. State has got 465 containment zones, with 6,798 health teams, which have 25.61 lakh people.
Meanwhile, the condition of the patient at Lilavati Hospital who underwent the first plasma therapy in the state is still critical. So, the hospital hasn’t given the pending second and third dosages of plasma transfusion on Tuesday and will wait for his health condition to improve.