Maharashtra sees slight drop in number of Covid cases

Mumbai: After reporting more than 5,000 cases and 100 deaths for three consecutive days, the state has witnessed a slight drop in daily cases, with 4,922 new infections and 95 Covid-19 fatalities on Saturday, pushing its tally to 18,47,509, with 47,694 deaths till now. Mumbai, meanwhile, recorded 758 new cases and 18 Covid-19 fatalities in the last 24 hours, increasing the total count to 2,85,260, with 10,889 deaths so far.

With the daily caseload “under control” in the state, authorities have now decided to focus on districts with a high number of cases and a positivity rate.

“Districts with high positivity and fatality rates have been directed to go for more testing and aggressive contact tracing to keep the spread in control. Although the daily caseload hasn’t risen drastically, it can still gradually increase from the last week of December. As projected and conveyed to local authorities, we have to be prepared for the second wave, or another peak, in January or February. The districts that have poor health infrastructure have been directed to ramp it up,” said a health department official.

In the past 10 days, the state has reported an average of 5,279 infections daily, contrary to the projection of a surge in cases after Diwali.

The weekly growth rate, too, has dropped to 0.31%; the doubling period has risen to 225 days; and the case fatality rate (CFR) has fallen to 2.58% as of December 1, according to the state health department presentation made before the cabinet. Weekly CFR has also fallen to 1.44% between November 25 and December 1 from 3.72%, highest in the recent past, between November 4 and 10.

Dr. Avinash Bhondve, Maharashtra president, Indian Medical Association, said the state machinery is lagging in contact tracing and daily testing.

“As per what we have gathered from patients at clinics, the state machinery has not been able to trace contacts of infected patients. The number of tests, too, should increase, if the state really wants to restrict the spread. The government has been talking about tracking the super-spreaders, but on the ground, no such drive exists. On the other hand, people, too, are not following Covid-appropriate behaviour by maintaining social distancing and wearing masks at public places,” he said.

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