The COVID-19 death toll in Maharashtra crossed the 48,000-mark on Friday. 87 fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the count to 48,059. Meanwhile, the state reported 4,268 new infections, pegging the count at 18,72,440 cases so far.
Mumbai witnessed a slight drop in the number of daily cases on Friday. 654 new infections and 13 deaths were reported, increasing their respective tallies to 2,89,343 and 10,959.
The state, which had anticipated a second wave of COVID-19 infections, has so far not witnessed any signs of it, said Dr Subhash Salunkhe, chairman of communicable diseases prevention control and member of the state-appointed technical committee.
As per the different project models of the state Health Department, it was projected that Maharashtra would see a surge in fresh cases by December end or by January or February next year. The figures over the past week have not suggested any signs of an increase in the infection rate or more cases.
In the past seven days, Maharashtra reported 25,585 COVID-19 cases and 373 deaths with a daily average of 3,655 cases and 53 deaths. During the same period, the state tested 370,196 samples. The average number of tests conducted daily was 52,885 and the positivity rate was 6.91%.
“These are favourable and positive signs. We had thought that, since people had come out in large numbers before Diwali, it would trigger the second wave. One thing is beyond doubt that we are not seeing a second wave pattern in Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai and Pune. There is a lull. Now, whether this lull is one before the storm or this will result in a positive outcome, we will know in the next three to four weeks,” Salunkhe said.
Health Department officials, however, are still wary about laxed behaviour displayed by people in observing the COVID-19 protocol. “At this stage, we will not say that the risk is over and that we are out of the woods. I would like to wait for three more weeks, and if the same pattern of either a plateauing or a decline continues, then we will be [in a] comfortable [position],” Salunkhe added.