Maharashtra’s COVID-19 situation to improve by March, say experts

Maharashtra on Thursday reported as many as 3,507 new COVID-19 infections and 58 pandemic deaths pushing its tally of positive cases to 19,32,112 and 49,521 deaths so far.

Meanwhile, for the second consecutive day, Mumbai reported 714 new pandemic cases and nine COVID-19 fatalities in the past 24 hours, increasing the total patients to 2,93,436 and 11,116 deaths till now.

The state health department officials said that the infection spread is witnessing a downward trend which is why the positivity rate is going down gradually. “A significant percentage of the population could have developed antibodies which is a reason for the lower infection rate now. We are happy that the numbers are showing a dip, but the administration remains on guard,” said an official.

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 current trend continues.

He, however, said it is essential for the 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 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,” 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.

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