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State gets closer to 75,000 cases, records biggest one-day spike of 122 deaths

By Faisal Malik, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JUN 04, 2020 12:26 AM IST

Maharashtra on Wednesday inched closer to the grim 75,000 Covid-19 cases mark with 2,560 more infections, bringing the case count to 74,860 — 36.5% of the total cases — 2,07,614 — in the country.

Of them, 38,493 are active cases, according to the state health department.

It has also reported 122 deaths, highest in a day so far. The toll stands at 2,587. Of them, 57 deaths are from the past two days, while the rest are between April 30 and May 31, clarified the health department.

Last Friday, the state recorded 116 fatalities, which was the second-highest single-day figure so far. However, the government had clarified that 70 of them were from the previous 13 days.

Of the total deaths, 49 are in Mumbai, 19 in Pune, 16 in Aurangabad, 10 in Solapur, four in Dhule , three each in Navi Mumbai, Ulhasnagar, two each in Thane, Kolhapur, Akola and one each in Mira-Bhayander, Vasai-Virar, Bhiwandi, Ahmednagar, Nandurbar, Jalna and Osmanabad. In addition, one patient each from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal died in Mumbai.

Of the total deaths, 69 were above 60 years of age, while 46 were in the age group of 40 to 59 years and the remaining seven were below the age of 40 years.

Of the deceased, 88 had high-risk co-morbidities, including diabetes, hypertension and heart ailments, health officials said.

Statistics showed that the state has reported 1,452 deaths in the past 18 days. It comes to more than 56% of the total deaths — 2,587. It also means, on an average, 80 deaths a day.

The mortality rate has also slightly increased to 3.45% (2,587 deaths on June 2) from 3.27% (1,792 deaths on May 26).

It is also more than the national mortality rate, which is 2.80%, with 5,815 deaths till Tuesday, stated the data shared by the state medical education department.

However, the state has also succeeded in bringing down the mortality rate significantly from last month. On April 13, the mortality rate of the state was 7.41%. (148 deaths). This indicates improvement of 4.4%, the data showed.

Meanwhile, Mumbai also recorded 1,276 cases in a day. Of them, 24,597 are active cases. The city’s toll stands at 1,368.

On May 22, Mumbai had reported highest one-day cases — 1,751.

The challenge the state is facing is the behavioural change of the coronavirus. It has found that the virus is mutating. “We know nothing about coronavirus. All we know about it is that it is extremely infectious and spreads very fast. The virus is behaving differently and is also mutating. We have found 11 mutants of the virus recently,” said another official, wishing not to be named.

Officials said that cases are likely to surge for a few more days after which they are expecting a decline in cases as the state has decided to ease restrictions in three phases. “We are concerned that with more relaxations, more people will step out and get exposed to the virus. This ultimately will result in a surge in cases. We are already experiencing a rise in cases in the districts where there were no cases or were minimal in number, before relaxations were given in the state on May 20,” said a senior official, requesting anonymity.

The state health department said that the situation is improving as the compounded daily growth rate (CDGR) for Maharashtra has reduced to 4.17%, as against 7.76% on May 1. The country’s CDGR is 4.74%. The recovery rate has also improved to 43.18%, while the doubling rate has increased to 17.35 days from 9.27 days on May 1.

But data shows that the state is getting more than 2,000 cases in the past 18 days (from May 17). In this period, it has also recorded over 44,323 cases. It means on an average 2,462 cases are recorded daily in the state.

On May 17, there were 2,347 cases. May 18 had 2,033 new infections, May 19 saw 2,127, May 20 had 2,250, May 21 saw 2,345, May 22 had 2,940, May 23 saw 2,608, May 24 saw 3041, May 25 saw 2,436, May 26 had 2,091, May 27 saw 2,190, May 28 saw 2,598, May 29 saw 2,682, May 30 saw 2,940, May 31 had 2,487, June 1 saw 2,361 and on June 2, 2287 cases were reported.

In comparison, the total number of cases registered in April was 10,201.

To put the steep hike in further perspective, one should consider that the state’s first coronavirus case was reported on March 9 and it took 30 days for the figure to cross the 1,000 mark.

Meanwhile, the state government is set to provide 30 monkeys to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune for clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccines. NIV has asked the state government to get them monkeys for the clinical trials. Considering the demand, the state forest minister Sanjay Rathod has issued directives to the forest department for the same.

“I have directed to appoint experienced team to catch the monkeys so that they (monkeys) will not get hurt. They can be safely caught and handed over to the research institute on the conditions such as the project will not be commercialised,” the forest minister said.

The health department declared to have conducted 4,97,276 tests at various public and private facilities across Maharashtra. Of them, 4,22,416 people tested negative, said an official.

State currently has 3,661 active containment zones. A total of 18,950 survey teams, comprising doctors and assisting staff, have screened more than 71.48 lakh people.

So far, 33,674 people have been kept in institutional quarantine in the state and over 5,71,915 people have been put under home quarantine.

The state government has also constituted a committee to decide minimal rates for Covid-19 at private laboratories which is currently Rs4,500 per test. The four-member committee headed by Sudhakar Shinde, chief executive officer, State Health Assurance Society, will bargain with the laboratories to reduce the rates as testing kits are now being manufactured in the country. Earlier, the kits had to be imported from different countries.

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