COVID-19 cases rising due to aggressive tracking, testing: Minister

Mumbai: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Sunday said the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state over the last one month was due to the government's aggressive approach of "tracking, tracing, testing and treatment".

Talking to PTI, Tope said the state government is focusing on preparedness and creating awareness about the disease.

"We are aggressively focussing on four Ts- tracking, tracing, testing and treatment. There are 400 labs for COVID-19 testing and more than 50,000 tests are done daily in the state. The antigen test and RT-PCR tests are being done to the optimum capacity," the health minister said.

He noted that the spread of COVID-19 has gone up in the last month due to the easing of restrictions.

"Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is very conservative about the Unlock process. Even though we have begun lifting restrictions, we still haven't opened places of worship, theatres, malls and gyms despite demands," he said.

At present, the COVID-19 recovery rate is 80 per cent and the death rate is around 2.4 per cent. The number of recoveries daily is almost equal to the number of new cases.

Hence, there is no problem of bed availability, he said.

"We are prepared in terms of jumbo COVID-19 facilities and other health infrastructure. We dont want to reach a situation where the number of new cases outnumbers recoveries.

So, we are going slow with the Unlock process," he said.

Tope also said the frontline COVID-19 workers deserve applause as over five lakh patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals.

"The number of critical patients is about two per cent, the minister informed.

"We are still in a mission mode and will continue to remain so till our objective and target is achieved," he said, adding that the administration and frontline health workers are taking up mission (to defeat COVID-19) with a positive attitude.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner I S Chahal told PTI that the number of COVID-19 tests in the metropolis has gone up from 4,000 to 9,000 per day since the last one month.

"The number touched 12,000 one day, while yesterday it was 9,984. We are trying to raise the number of tests per day to 12,000 to 14,000 regularly, and then the cases may touch 1,800 to 2,000 for a few days. We have to be aggressive and on the front foot," Chahal said.

On Saturday, Maharashtra reported the highest single day rise of 16,867 COVID-19 cases. Out of these, Mumbai accounted for 1,432 cases.

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