Coronavirus Maharashtra: With 20,489 new COVID-19 cases, tally nears 9 lakh-mark

Mumbai: Maharashtra, for the fourth time in a row, recorded its highest single-day spike in Covid-19 cases on Saturday as the 24-hour tally crossed the 20,000-mark for the first time. The state overall case count rose to 8,83,862 after addition of 20,489 cases on Saturday.

The surge, which has been witnessed after relaxations in lockdown during Ganeshotsav, has resulted in the state reporting 91,010 Covid-19 cases in the first five days of the month. The previous highest single-day jumps were 17,433, 18,105 and 19,218 which reported on September 2, 3 and 4 respectively.

Mumbai, meanwhile, reported 1,737 cases and 33 Covid-19 deaths on Friday, increasing the total count to 1,53,712 with 7,829 deaths so far. The recovery rate of the city is 79.69 per cent, however, the mortality rate still remains at 5 per cent.

The state Covid-19 fatalities also crossed 26,000 mark, with 312 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 26,273. Of the total deaths, 68 deaths occurred in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, followed by 65 in Pune, 44 in Nashik, 43 in Nagpur, 32 in Latur, 31 in Kolhapur, 15 in Aurangabad and 12 in Akola, while two deaths were from other states.

A state health official said the virus has spread in the rural areas where health infrastructure is weak and people lack awareness. Moreover, the cases are rising as the virus has spread in the rural areas and new places are getting added to the list. “The health infrastructure in rural areas is still weak and people are still not aware of the seriousness of the disease. To control and reach more numbers of patients, the state government should also involve medical colleges in monitoring and analysing the daily situation,” he said.

“A team of doctors from each medical college can be assigned a district and they will analyse the situation and discuss it with the local authorities, so that decisions can be taken according to the situation and things can come under control,” added the official.

Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of Maharashtra’s Covid-19 taskforce, said a small upward trend has been observed since the last week of August. “We have to ramp up the testing considering we are currently under testing and under tracing. We have to optimise the testing considering our capacity, which is not happening currently,” he said.

So far, a total of 45.56 lakh tests have been conducted in the state, of which nearly 19.3 per cent were positive. There are 14.81 lakh, people, in-home quarantine and over 37,196 in institutional quarantine.

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