State sees 5,257 new cases; tally is 169,883Updated: Jun 30, 2020 00:00 IST
Maharashtra’s Covid-19 case count reached close to 1.70 lakh with 5,257 more infections, pushing the tally to 169,883. Of them, 73,298 are active cases, according to the state health department. Monday was the fourth consecutive day fresh cases crossed the 5,000 mark.
With state officials expecting a peak in July, the number of fresh cases is likely to further rise and the situation may become more difficult in the coming days. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday has confirmed that there will be a spike in infections in the next few weeks as they have opened up activities and are giving further relaxations to ensure revival of the economy.
State health minister Rajesh Tope, too, said that the peak had started.
The state recorded 181 deaths on Monday, taking the toll to 7,610. Of them, 78 deaths were from the past 48 hours, while the rest were from past few days, health officials said.
Mumbai has 76,765 cases after adding 1,226 more infections in the past 24 hours. Of them, 28,749 are active cases. Mumbai’s toll stands at 4,062 after 92 deaths were reported.
As the struggle against coronavirus becomes more challenging on account of the spike in cases, the state government on Monday extended lockdown for another month till July 31. It has empowered all municipal commissioners and district collectors to impose necessary restrictions in their jurisdiction to contain spread of the pandemic, whenever required.
It has further restricted long distance travel for non-essential items in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), comprising nine cities including Mumbai, where cases are rising rapidly. In Mumbai, police have restricted travel up to 2-km distance for residents, except for officegoers and essential services.
The chief minister also expressed discontent over people stepping out and crowding places unnecessarily. “When the pandemic is reaching its peak, people in and around Mumbai are found stepping out of their homes and travelling unnecessarily. This is not expected. The spread that was contained and restricted by far, has now started rising and will turn into a big challenge before us,” Thackeray said in a review meeting he chaired on Monday.
“As we have been opening up activities to ensure revival of the economy, we have been witnessing a rise in cases. As part of the relaxation, people step out of their homes, come in contact and spread the virus. Even in the near future, there will be a rise in cases as we open up more activities,” the chief minister said on Sunday in his address through Facebook live.
“As the chief minister has said, we are expecting a rise in infections as we have been relaxing restrictions. But unlocking was done in a phased manner, because we have anticipated this and are also prepared for the situation. The health infrastructure was augmented to deal with the spike in cases. It also appears that the projection about the peak in July will be proved correct,” said a senior official, requesting anonymity.
On Sunday, Thackeray had warned people with stricter restrictions if violation of lockdown norms continued.
Tope said, “We have started unlocking restrictions, but it is also subjective. If people are showing carelessness and found not following norms, which will result in rise in cases, then local authorities such as municipal commissioners and district collectors have been empowered to take decisions to impose lockdown.” The number of cases in MMR is rising rapidly. On June 3, it had 55,086 cases, which has increased to 1,15,021 on June 29, revealed figures of the state health department.
In a meeting chaired by the chief minister to review the crisis in MMR last week, more stress was given on building jumbo hospitals in satellite cities because they don’t have enough health infrastructure to cope with the crisis in case of a peak. The chief minister instructed local authorities to focus on augmenting health infrastructure as we have to be prepared in advance,” said an official, privy to the development.
Following the spike in cases, the Thane municipal corporation on Monday declared a complete 10-day lockdown in the city, starting from July 2. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation has also imposed a seven-day complete lockdown in 10 containment zones from Monday. Thane and Navi Mumbai have 9,644 and 7,677 cases respectively.
Districts such as Ratnagiri and Hingoli, too, have decided to impose strict lockdown to contain the spread. Ratnagiri will see complete lockdown for eight days from July 1, whereas Hingoli has started its implementation for five days from Monday, but it is restricted only for Kalamnuri city. Ratnagiri and Hingoli have 570 and 266 cases respectively.
Monday was also the 20th day the state has reported over 3,000 cases in a day. With 7,429 deaths on Sunday, the case fatality rate (CFR) of the state was recorded as 4.51%. It is the second-highest in the country after Gujarat, where the CFR is 5.77% with 1,809 deaths (31,320 cases) till Sunday, revealed statistics shared by the state medical education department. Maharashtra still has highest number of deaths across states in the country. By the end of May, the state has successfully brought down the CFR to 3.26% (on May 26) from 7.41% (with 148 deaths) on April 13. The tally of recovered patients also reached 88,960 after 2385 patients recovered on Monday. With this, the recovery rate has reached 52.37%
The health department declared to have conducted 9,43,485 tests at various public and private facilities across Maharashtra. Of them, 7,73,602 people tested negative. It means 18% of the total samples tested positive, said an official.