A day after 10,000-plus new corona cases were reported in the state, there was a slight drop in the numbers on Thursday, with 9,895 new infections being reported, taking the total positive count to 3,47,502.
The Covid-19 death toll in Maharashtra is perilously close to the 13,000-mark, which is expected to be crossed in the next 24 hours. On Thursday, the state recorded 298 fatalities, the highest reported in a single day so far, bringing the toll to 12,854 until now.
Of the 298 deaths, 130 were from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), followed by 82 in Pune, 31 in Nashik, 18 in Aurangabad, 14 in Latur, 11 in Kolhapur, five in Akola and one in Nagpur, while six of the dead were from another state.
Once again, the Pune Municipal Corporation reported more cases than Mumbai in the last 24 hours, with 1,801 cases and 37 fatalities, taking its progressive count to 45,446, with 1,154 deaths so far. In Mumbai, there were 1,245 new cases and 55 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total positive count increased to 1,05,829, with 5,937 deaths until Thursday.
However, the number of cases in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) surpassed Mumbai tally, with 2,727 new cases being recorded on Thursday. The overall count here now is 1,08,121, higher than Mumbai's overall total.
A senior government official said they were carrying out rapid antigen tests that give faster results, so as to stop the spread of the virus in the period between the tests and results of suspected patients. The official said that the “intermingling” of people of semi-urban areas and rural areas was a “possible explanation” for the wave of infections in these areas. Barring Thane, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur and Mumbai districts, lockdown restrictions had been lifted much earlier in other districts, as there were not as many cases.
“We do not want the outbreak to go out of hand in rural and semi-urban areas. We have seen an increase in these (rural and semi-urban) areas, but the increase is not exponential. All districts are now starting to use rapid antigen kits for faster results. We have ramped up testing, tracing and treatment. The availability of beds will not be an issue as cases are not growing exponentially,” said a senior government official.