For the fourth consecutive day, Maharashtra reported less than 5,000 corona cases on Saturday, with 3,940 new infections and 74 covid-19 fatalities in the last 24 hours, pushing its tally to 18,92,707, with 48,648 deaths so far.
“Of the 74 deaths reported today, 33 occurred in the last 48 hours and 15 in the last week. Rest 26 deaths are from the period before last week. Out of the 26 deaths, 14 occurred in Aurangabad, 3 in Pune, 2 in Sangli, 2 in Nashik, 1 in Amaravati, 1 in Jalgaon, 1 in Thane, 1 in Raigad, and 1 in Solapur,” said Dr. Pradip Awate, state surveillance officer.
Meanwhile, Mumbai reported 632 new cases and 10 covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, increasing its tally to 2,86,264, with 10,980 fatalities till now.
Between December 5 and 18, Maharashtra has logged below 5,000 infections and fewer than 100 fatalities each day, signifying a downward trend in the state’s Covid-19 curve. Contrary to the prediction of state authorities, the numbers are not showing any increase. In the past 14 days, Maharashtra has added 46,180 fresh cases at a daily average of 3,298.
Dr. Subhash Salunkhe, chairman of communicable diseases prevention control and member of the state-appointed technical committee, said, “We are definitely seeing a declining trend in the state. But we must continue taking precautions as a viral activity has not died down completely.”
Meanwhile, the state government has extended its free treatment scheme for ailments, including Covid-19, by three months to January 31. Health activists, however, urged the state to let it apply for the whole of next year in the wake of the pandemic and resultant lockdown. The scheme comes under Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY) and people can avail of its benefit irrespective of financial status.
The activists said financial losses incurred due to lockdown have necessitated the need for free treatment for all diseases, including Covid-19, for at least a year more for all in the state, irrespective of financial riders. “The state government must extend free treatment benefit to all citizens of Maharashtra till December 31, 2021,” health activist Abhijit More said.