Mumbai witnesses over 700 new covid cases on Thursday
Photo: BL Soni

For the second consecutive day, Mumbai reported more than 700 cases on Thursday, with 798 new infections and 13 covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing its tally to 2,88,689, with 10,948 fatalities so far.

However, Maharashtra witnessed 23 per cent drop in daily cases on Thursday, with 3,824 new cases and 70 deaths, increasing the total count to 18,68,172, with 47,972 fatalities till now.

The state authorities had expected a surge in Covid-19 cases after Diwali, but the number of daily infections hasn’t witnessed a massive spike. Between December 1 and 9, the state reported 42,202 cases against 42,393 cases during the same period in November, while the fatalities reduced to 751 in the first nine days of this month, from 1,000 during the corresponding period last month.

Dr. Subhash Salunkhe, chairman of communicable diseases prevention control and technical committee of the state, said Maharashtra has hit the plateau [of Covid-19 infections] and the situation will be much better by March if the trend continues.

He, however, said it is essential for citizens to follow “Covid-appropriate behaviour”.

“Crowding at public places during Diwali led to a rise in fresh infections, but it was not as high as witnessed in north India, especially in Delhi, and definitely not as intense as seen in Europe and the US. This is a very positive sign and if the plateau continues and cases decline by January, we will head towards a positive epidemiological situation. By March, we will be in a much better position then,” Salunkhe said.

However, officials aren’t being complacent and the state has already directed local authorities to be vigilant and prepared for a possible second wave outbreak in January.

Salunkhe said people “should not lower their guards” as the possibility of a surge in January can’t be ruled out. “Although it doesn’t seem to be happening based on the current trend, the possibility of a surge in January can’t be ruled out. People must follow all health protocols rigorously,” he said.

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