Maharashtra witnessed more than 500 COVID-19 fatalities for the second time in three days. On Tuesday, 519 patients succumbed to the deadly virus, increasing the death toll to 61,343 so far. It is the highest single day count reported since the outbreak of the virus. The previous highest was 515, which was reported on October 16, 2020.
Meanwhile, there was a slight rise in the number of cases in Maharashtra on Tuesday. The state reported 62,097 new cases in the last 24 hours, pushing its tally to 39,01,359 cases till now. At the same time, the recovery rate has touched 81 per cent. 52,224 patients recovered on Monday, increasing the total to 32,13,464 so far. “Of the 519 deaths reported today, 307 occurred in the last 48 hours and 114 took place in the last week. The remaining 98 deaths are from the period before last week. Of these 98 deaths, 23 occurred in Nashik, 20 in Solapur, 10 in Dhule, nine in Aurangabad, eight in Thane, seven in Palghar, six in Nanded, five each in Ahmednagar and Jalgaon, three in Nandurbar and one each in Pune and Raigad,” said a senior health official.
Mumbai, meanwhile, witnessed less than 8,000 cases for the second consecutive day in the last 24 hours. 7,214 new cases and 35 fatalities were reported on Tuesday, taking the respective tallies to 5,93,900 and 12,439 deaths so far. Meanwhile, the recovery rate has increased to 84 per cent. 4,96,263 patients were discharged across the city since the outbreak of the virus.
Health experts said Maharashtra is likely to hit a plateau in the next 10 days and a drop in cases may start from the middle of next month. BMC Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said, “Every death is unfortunate, but if we see the overall picture, the daily death rate is still under 0.6. Even our overall case fatality rate, which was 5 in October-November 2020, has dropped to 2.1,” said Kakani. The city’s death rate due to COVID-19 in this month is lower than the national average, he added.
Dr Rahil Pandit, a member of the state task force said there is possibly a change in the disease pattern. “The cycle is usually two to three weeks long. For the first one week to 10 days, youngsters remain asymptomatic, but then land up in hospital with a cytokine storm,” he said. Cytokine storms are a severe immune reaction in which the body releases too many cytokines or proteins into the blood too quickly.