Mumbai: Maharashtra added 5,318 new COVID-19 cases to its count on Saturday,its highest single-day addition so far, and the second consecutive day on which the number of new cases added has crossed the 5,000 mark. The state also added 167 deaths to its toll of COVID-19 fatalities. The progressive count of cases reported in the state till date now stands at 1,59,133 cases, and 7,273 deaths have been reported until now. Health experts have attributed this surge to the lockdown relaxations and increased COVID testing daily.

According to the public health department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, there were 1,460 new COVID-19 cases and 105 deaths added to the city’s count on Saturday, raising the tally to 74,252 cases and 4,282 deaths until now. While the state health department on Saturday reported 6,369 COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, it specified that only 5,318 of these cases were reported in the last 24 hours.

The rest were from the last three months, which have been updated now, it said. “The reconciliation of COVID-19 cases from all districts and municipal corporations between the period March 9 and June 7 has been completed and cumulative figures of COVID-19 cases have been changed accordingly,” said Dr Pradip Awate, state surveillance officer. “Eighty-six of the 167 deaths reported on Saturday occurred in the last 48 hours, while the remaining 81 had occurred in the last three months and were updated in the progressive count on Saturday,” said an official.

On the other hand, 4,430 coronavirus patients were discharged during the day, increasing the number of recovered patients to 84,245 so far. Mumbai continues to report a significant number of deaths that had remained unreported over the last three months.The city so far has recorded 4,284 deaths with a death rate of 5.76 per cent. Maharashtra’s death rate stands at 4.57 per cent.

“Forty-one of 107 deaths occurred in the last 48 hours, while 64 deaths were from the previous period which is added in the progressive count. However, 68 patients had comorbidities,” said civic health officials. Even as cases are on the decline, civic officials said they were readying about 500 ICU beds, anticipating a rise in cases due to the monsoon. “Once rains pick up, we will understand how the epidemic progresses,” said Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner, BMC.

Experts also pointed that one reason why Mumbai’s caseload is reducing is due to its consistent testing. The city tests around 4,500 to 5,000 people every day. It has so far tested over 3 lakh people and has not scaled up its testing when compared to other districts since a week.

In contrast, the number of tests conducted across Maharashtra has increased from around 17,000 until a fortnight ago to 20,000 per day. Currently, there are 106 laboratories for Covid diagnosis in the state – 63 government and 43 private. Of the 8,96,874 laboratory samples, 1,59,133 have tested positive (17.74%) for COVID-19 until Saturday. Currently, 5,65,161 people are in home quarantine and 36,925 people are in institutional quarantine

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