For the fifth consecutive day, Maharashtra reported less than 10,000 new COVID-19 infections. 7,539 fresh cases and 198 fatalities were recorded on Thursday, pushing the tally to 16,25,197, and 42,831, respectively. The state’s recovery rate improved to 88 per cent after 16,177 patients were reported to have recovered in 24 hours, taking the tally of recovered patients to 14,31,856 so far.
Mumbai, too, continued with its decline in new cases by clocking 1,463 new cases and 49 deaths, taking the tally to 2,47,334 and 9,918, correspondingly. State authorities, citing the possibility of a spike in the cases over the next few weeks with the onset of winter coinciding with the festive season and the unlocking rolled out, have instructed the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to aggressively implement its outreach drive. “The first phase of My Family, My Responsibility has helped us make people aware about the pandemic protocol and personal hygiene. We have been getting good results and this has helped us contain the spread. We have details of almost everyone with comorbid conditions. The district administration has been directed to monitor the vulnerable sections of the society, so as to treat them early,” said an official from the state Health Department.
State health officials are also wary about the drop in the rate of tests conducted for the detection of the infection. The daily average of the tests in October has dropped to 72,442 from 88,209 tests per day in September. “It is a good sign that even the positivity rate in October has dropped to 15.12 per cent. However, this does not mean that the state should test less. We have been insisting on increasing the number of daily tests conducted,” said a COVID-19 task force member of the state.
Dr Avinash Supe, member of the expert committee appointed by the state to recommend steps to curb the spread, said that the citizens need to take precautions related to their personal hygiene and follow the protocol. The surge may not be as high as we witnessed in September. “With nearly everything unlocked, 70 per cent of the population has not been exposed even today. So, if we follow the protocol, I think we will continue with the plateau till January. By February onwards, it will drop further to the baseline of the curve,” he said.