Maharashtra on Sunday reported 2,544 new infections and 60 COVID-19 fatalities pushing its tally to 17,47,242 positive cases and 45,974 deaths so far. There are only 4.8 percent of active cases in the state.
Mumbai reported 577 new cases and 15 COVID-19 deaths taking the total count of positive cases to 2,69,704 and 10,570 fatalities. The recovery rate has increased to 91 percent, while the active cases have now dropped to 9,956.
Although the state has allowed temples to open, district administrations have been directed to take necessary steps to augment the health infrastructure, anticipating a potential spike of the disease after Diwali. “The district administrations have been asked to ramp up the health infrastructure with 10 percent more bed facilities than they had in September when we witnessed a peak in the cases. Besides it, we have also asked them for aggressive tracking of contacts to keep the spread of the virus under check,” said an official from the health department.
The officials also said that after the temple and religious places were allowed to reopen from Monday, the decision about resumption of local trains for all will be taken after assessing the COVID-19 situation. “We had written to the Western and Central Railways two weeks ago, asking them to chalk out the plans for resumption of the local trains for all in non-peak hours. But we are not pushing for immediate resumption as there could be a spike in cases after Diwali. The decision over it may be taken a week after Diwali by reviewing the situation,” said an official.
The member on the task force added that people are not following COVID-19 protocol during the festive period. Moreover there is zero masking and zero physical distancing for Diwali shopping across Maharashtra. Secondly, there is crowding and there is a lot of cross migration from villages, towns and cities. “People think coronavirus has gone and it is irresponsible behaviour. The way Delhi has seen a surge in pandemic cases with the drop in temperature, even we can see that. We should not remain off guard,” he said.
According to Joshi, the situation in Mumbai has improved, but the risk is yet to be over for Mumbai. He said that the slum population might have been more exposed to the virus in the first wave, only about 20 percent of the people living in high-rises have been exposed to the virus, keeping the threat intact.