Mumbai: For the first time since the pandemic outbreak last year, Maharashtra reported the highest single-day cases and deaths on Thursday. The state recorded 43,183 new infections and 249 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing its tally to 28,56,163, with 54,898 deaths so far.
The state capital, Mumbai, also followed suit, reporting the highest number of single-day cases in the last 24 hours, with 8,646 new infections and 18 deaths on Thursday, increasing its tally to 4,23,260 cases so far. The total death toll in the city is now 11,704.
The recovery rate has dropped to 84 per cent, with 5,031 patients being discharged on Thursday, increasing the total recovered patients to 3,55,691.
Dharavi, which had been a cause for concern in the first phase of the pandemic because of its super-congested state, reported 71 new infections in the last 24 hours.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani once again emphasised the need for people’s strict adherence to Covid norms at all times, especially in daily travel. “We have already imposed night curfew to restrict the crowd in pubs, clubs and other socialising hubs. Also, we have issued new guidelines for private firms to limit the number of staffers at offices,” he said.
Health experts have observed that many are contracting the infection from their infected colleagues or family members. “Offices are getting contaminated because of overcrowding. Staff who reside in the distant suburbs must commute by bus and train to work. Also, as most offices have air-conditioners, it leads to faster spread,” according to an expert.
Dr Subhash Salunkhe, state adviser for COVID-19, said, while the virus circulating in the state could be said to be more infectious than the first wave but not as lethal, more data is needed to draw connect it to the surge. “With their relaxed behaviour, people have allowed the virus to enter their bodies, mutate and spread further. Even now, people are least bothered about the rules. So far, we have seen that only a small percentage of the newly infected are hosts to the mutated strain. Thus, it is not scientifically correct to call it the main reason for the rise in new Covid cases, but just one of the contributing factors,” he said.
Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the state Covid taskforce, said the state would see a spike in the coming days. “The numbers will increase and the state will break records in the coming days. Apart from non-compliance to Covid protocols, the other reason for the surge is also increased testing and increased contact tracing in all the districts,” he said.