With nearly 16 lakh positive cases thus far, India ranks third among the nations worst affected by COVID-19. Within the country, Maharashtra has emerged as the worst affected state, with more than 4 lakh positive cases.
On Thursday, the western state reported its highest one-day spike of 11,147 new cases. The total number of coronavirus cases in the state now stands at 4,11,798. Alongside, 266 coronavirus patients died in the state, taking the death toll to 14,729, a release from the Maharashtra health department said.
While Mumbai had been the city with the highest number of cases at one point of time, other areas in Maharashtra are now catching up even as the financial capital sees a drop. On Thursday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray chaired a review meeting in Pune to take stock of the situation. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was also in attendance.
"The Hon’ble CM held one meeting with the elected representatives and another with all assistant commissioners from Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad to further formulate a strategy to tackle the spread of Coronavirus in Pune," tweeted state Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray.
This was Thackeray's first visit to Pune since the COVID-19 outbreak more than four months ago. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, ministers Dilip Walse-Patil, Dattatray Bharne, Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol, Kothrud MLA and state BJP president Chandrakant Patil and other elected members from Pune and neighbouring Pimpri-Chinchwad were present at the meeting.
Pune city recorded 1,889 new cases on Thursday while the Pimpri-Chinchwad belt recorded 987 new cases. As a whole Pune district has recorded more than 78,000 cases so far and seen a spurt in infections in recent weeks.
In a Twitter thread, Pawar added that the Chief Minister had interacted with officials to understand the problems being faced in the area, and to discuss the initiatives that have already been put in place. He adds that the Chief Minister is holding weekly meetings to assess and oversee the situation in Pune.
"It was suggested in the meeting that a detailed proposal should be submitted to the government with a view to rehabilitate the landslide affected villages in Bhor taluka on the lines of Malin," he added.
"During our fight against the COVID-19, elected representatives should work as a link between citizens and the government," Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Thursday.
While Thackeray assured that there was enough stock of ventilators, PPE kits and N-95 masks in the state, he added that he had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the supply of ventilators, PPE kits and and N-95 masks to the state even after the existing deadline of September.
"We have given financial help to municipal corporations and we will continue to support the civic bodies during the fight against the virus," said Thackeray. He added that a task force is being set up in every district to stem the spread of the viral disease.
"There is a need to increase beds in hospitals in Pune and the civic body should take a lead in this regard," the CM said, urging the municipal corporations of Pune, Aurangabad and Nashik to work towards increasing beds in hospitals.
"The state government will provide all the required financial help," he assured.
"The administration should create awareness among people and encourage them to use masks and follow social distancing norms," the CM added.
As of July 30 evening, Maharashtra's coronavirus figures are as follows:
Total cases - 4,11,798
New cases - 11,147
Death toll - 14,729
Recoveries - 2,48,615
Active cases - 1,48,454
People tested so far - 20,70,128
(With inputs from agencies)