Maharashtra and Mumbai witnessed a slight drop in the number of daily COVID-19 cases on Monday. The state recorded 2,834 new cases and 55 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the respective tallies to 18,99,352 and 48,801 till now.
Mumbai recorded less than 500 cases on Monday. With 463 new cases and 12 fatalities, the corresponding totals has now reached 2,97,313 and 11,008. Maharashtra has been maintaining its trend of relatively fewer cases for more than close to two months now. For the past 16 days, it is reporting fewer than 5,000 cases, indicating an improvement in the situation.
Health officials, however, are still wary that it may change in January, when the state may hit a potential second wave. Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the COVID-19 task force formed by the Maharashtra government, said there are some characteristics peculiar to Maharashtra that led to a higher number of cases and deaths in the state. “They are high population density in the urban parts of the state (such as Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur), higher mobility, and greater instances of comorbidities in the population (such as hypertension and diabetes) due to lifestyles. Having said this, Maharashtra has managed to bring down its CFR and growth rate of cases. We have also not seen the surge we expected post Diwali, which is a good sign,” he said.
Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer said, the figures showed that the situation in the state is improving. Despite this, we have kept up efforts like actively testing the maximum number of suspected cases and identifying ‘super spreaders’ amongst frontliners, traders and vendors, who work closely with the community.
“Maharashtra had a large number of cases in the beginning of the outbreak, so we are carrying that baggage forward when being compared to other states. However, it is not just with COVID-19 infection numbers, but also swine flu and dengue numbers in the past decade. Maharashtra has had higher cases. This is because the state has sharp surveillance, and we are very alert. We also do not hide any numbers or facts,” he said.