Maharashtra’s Covid-19 tally went past the 8-lakh mark on Tuesday, 177 days after the first infection.
The state’s tally now stands at 8,08,306 after 15,765 fresh cases were reported Tuesday. The last one lakh cases took just seven days. The state took 96 days for the first 100,000, 22 for the second, 14 for the third, 11 for the fourth, 10 for fifth, 9 for sixth and eight for the tally to move from 6 lakh to 7 lakh.
The death toll in the state also inched towards 25,000 mark to stand at 24,903 after 320 casualties were reported on Tuesday.
Mumbai reported 1,142 new cases and 35 deaths, though Pune district remained on the top in cases and fatalities. Pune city saw 1738 cases and 40 deaths, rural part of the district reported 776 cases and seven fatalities, while its satellite city Pimpri Chinchwad reported 979 infections and five deaths.
Nagpur, Satara and Solapur districts were key contributors in new cases with 1,491(22deaths), 780 (17 deaths) and 467 (15 deaths) cases respectively.
Maharashtra’s fatality stood at 3.08%, while it was highest in Mumbai at 5.23%. Dharavi, the much talked about hotspot has shown signs of drastic improvement, recorded five new cases on Tuesday, bringing the area’s case count to 2,780 of which 2,422 have been discharged.
The Maharashtra government announced a few relaxations from the ongoing lockdown by allowing inter district travel, more workforce in private and government offices, operation of hotels and lodges at the full strength from Wednesday. But authorities are still wary about the relaxations leading to the spike in the cases across the state.
“Doing away with the restrictions on the inter district movement is like allowing movement of everything leading to the crowding. The spike in cases in the state on earlier occasions were mostly because of the movement of the people, especially those coming from the red zones. The opening up of the activities from Wednesday will lead to the rise in the cases,” said an official requesting anonymity.
The official said that anticipating the spike in the cases, the state government has decided to launch Chase The Virus programme across the state in the second week of September. The surveillance, tracing-tracking of high-low risk contacts and the treatment of the patients with comorbidities will be focused upon in a bid to contain the spread.
“In some of the districts, the health infrastructure is still weak. People report the symptoms very late and it leads to the rapid spread of the virus. Lackluster approach by the administration in tracking the high risk contacts, has mainly been leading to the rapid spread in a few districts,” he added.
Dr Avinash Bhondwe, Maharashtra president of Indian Medical Association, said relaxations given from the lockdown may lead to more cases.
“Relaxing activities at this scale is inappropriate especially when the cases in the state are on constant rise over the last few days. The cases are rising rapidly in rural areas, where there are no health facilities including oxygen, beds and emergency medicines. In districts like Sangli, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Beed, Osmanabad have reported a four-fold spike in fresh cases of Covid-19 over the last 7-10 days. In such a scenario the unlocking relaxations may lead to resurgence of cases and perhaps emergence of the second wave,” he said.
The total of recovered patients reached 584,537 after 10,978 recoveries were reported in the past 24 hours, taking the recovery rate to 72.32%, against national rate of 76.63%. Maharashtra has 198,523 active patients. The number of recovered and discharged patients in Mumbai was 1,18,859 with a recovery rate of 80.88%, and active cases stood at 20,067.
Maharashtra has 13,79,519 patients under home quarantine, while 36,020 are institutionally quarantined.
Authorities carried out 72,823 tests in the state in 24 hours at a positivity rate of 21.64%.