For the first time since the pandemic outbreak, Maharashtra has taken 16 days to add one lakh cases as compared to the earlier average period of fewer than 10 days. While the case count had crossed the 16-lakh mark on October 20, the infection tally reached 17,03,444 on November 5.
Officials have attributed this decline in daily cases to the tracing, tracking and testing methods adopted by various government agencies and increased awareness among people. However, health experts said it is indeed a good achievement for the state but citizens need to be more careful as winter season has arrived and Diwali festival is also there which can be another threat.
According to officials, this is the third slowest growth period as far as the addition of one lakh cases is concerned which means the situation of corona across the state is improving gradually. In the state, which remains the hardest-hit in the country by the pandemic, the number of single-day infection cases has come down in the range of 4,000 to 7,000 in the last couple of weeks after witnessing 20,000-plus daily cases for a sustained period in September.
“After the outbreak began, the first one lakh cases in the state were reported between March 9 and June 12, which means 94 days. But the two lakh-mark was recorded in the next 23 days after that as the infection spread further and since then from three lakh cases to the 16 lakh- mark, maximum time taken for adding every one lakh cases was less than 10 days," a senior health department official said.
A senior health official said there was a time in September when Maharashtra reported more than 20,000 cases daily. For instance, the case count jumped from eight lakh to nine lakh in just five days. The state had reported eight lakh cases on September 1 and it reached the nine lakh-mark on September 6.
“But over the last couple of weeks, the state has been reporting 4,000 to 7,000 cases daily, mainly due to its lowered prevalence. The tracing, tracking and testing method adopted by the state government has been effective in curbing the spread. Besides that, people have also grown conscious as they are taking necessary precautions. It has helped in slowing down the pace,” he said.
Dr Shashank Joshi, members of the state task force for COVID-19, said the winter season poses another threat and there is a chance of arising in the cases of cough, cold and fever cases increase, but this time everyone must be careful before discarding similar symptoms as normal fever. “If anyone catches a cold, cough or feels weakness, the person should visit a physician and undergo proper medical checking,” he said.