Maharashtra witnesses 773 Covid deaths, 66,836 new infections

Maharashtra reported more than 700 Covid-19 fatalities for the first time since the pandemic outbreak in March. On Friday, 773 people succumbed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus across the state, increasing the total death toll to 63,252 fatalities till now. It is the highest single-day fatalities reported in the state so far.

Meanwhile, there was a slight drop in daily Covid cases in Maharashtra, with 66,836 new infections being reported on Friday, pushing its tally to 41,61,676 cases. The recovery rate of the state touched 82 percent, with 74,046 patients being recovered and discharged in the last 24 hours. The total recovery count is 34,04,792 so far.

Mumbai witnessed more than 70 covid-19 fatalities for the second consecutive day, with 72 people succumbing to the virus on Friday, increasing the death toll to 12,648. The city reported less than 8,000 cases in the last 24 hours, with 7,221 new infections on Friday, increasing the total count to 6,16,221 so far.

Dr Avinash Supe, a member of the Task Force said Mumbai's death rate is inching towards 1% after having dropped to 0.2% earlier this year. There are multiple reasons for the rising deaths in the city. “People struggle to get beds, resulting in delayed start of treatment. Many go to smaller centres that are not able to help patients adequately,” Supe said.

Dr Rahul Pandit, who heads the ICU department at Fortis Hospital, Mulund, and is a member of the state government’s task force on Covid-19, said the deaths will continue to worsen for another week or more. “People who were infected a fortnight ago and failed to improve are most vulnerable,” he said.

The strain causing the second wave is deadlier and more infectious. “During the first wave, lung disease worsened in the second week. We now get patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome within six days of the start of symptoms. The deterioration is very swift, especially among the younger people,” said Dr Pandit.

He said while patients, mostly middle class and well informed about Covid, diligently check their oxygen saturation on the pulse oximeter, they never do the six-minute walk test. “The six-minute walk should be done twice every day. If the count after the six-minute walk is 3% lower than the baseline score, it is time to get hospitalised,” he said.

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