Maharashtra continues to report more than 6,000 cases for the third consecutive day with the state reporting 6,185 new COVID-19 cases and 85 fatalities on Friday. The state’s number of positive cases has gone up to 18,08,550 and the death toll reached 46,898 so far. Meanwhile, Mumbai recorded 1,074 new cases and 17 coronavirus deaths on Friday, increasing the city’s total count to 2,80,811 and 10,756 deaths till now.
Cases are on the rise in the state in the past ten days as the daily caseload first mounted to over 5,000 cases from November 18 and over 6,000 cases in the past two days. Nine days ago, the daily caseload average was 3,690. The state government is not in favour of reimposing lockdown despite a steady rise in cases due to crowding during Diwali and fall in temperature in the advent of winter.
According to officials of the health department, a section of ministers and bureaucracy is against imposing fresh lockdown. “Central government, through its notification on Wednesday, prohibited states to impose a lockdown without its permission. Even the state authorities are against it as the collateral economic and social damages are more than the health benefits. Instead of it, we are focusing on strict implementation of health protocol and tapping superspreaders. We believe that it will help us contain the spread to a large extent,” said an official.
The doubling rate, which is a crucial parameter to show the growth of the outbreak, improved to 81 days in the state as the caseload breached the grim milestone of 1.8 million, 81 days after it crossed 900,000 cases on September 6. The last 100,000 cases were reported in 26 days, after going past 1.7 million cases on November 5. After crossing the 1.5 million mark on October 9, another 100,00 cases were added in 10 days, taking the tally to 1,601,365 on October 19 and another 17 days to take the tally to 1,703,444 on November 5.
Dr Sanjay Pattiwar, public health expert, said, “People in the slum pockets of Mumbai have developed some antibodies, so people living in the buildings and high-rises are now more susceptible to catching the infection. Similarly for Thane, Navi Mumbai and Pune district, these are densely populated areas. With increased movement of people, work-travel in public transport, cases are expected to rise.”
He said that people need to take masking and hand sanitisation even more seriously if another surge in cases is to be prevented.