Maharashtra cases top 300,000, Mumbai tally hits 100k

The number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in Maharashtra climbed to 300,937 on Saturday, with the total infections in Mumbai rising to 100,350, 132 days after the first case of the pathogen was reported in the state.

Maharashtra reported 8,348 new infections on Saturday, the second biggest jump so far, and Mumbai, the worst-affected city in the state, reported 1,186 fresh cases of the disease.

The latest 100,000 cases in Maharashtra came in 14 days. The state’s first 100,000 infections were reported in 96 days, while the next 100,000 cases took 22 days. Maharashtra currently has 123,377 active cases, with 165,663 patients having recovering, translating to a recovery rate of 55.05%. The state also reported 144 new fatalities, pushing the death toll to 11,596 at the case fatality rate of 3.85%. The national CFR is 2.53%. Of the 144 casualties reported on Saturday, 65 were in Mumbai.

Mumbai, which breached the 100,000 mark after 131 days since reporting its first case, accounts for 33.35% of the total infections in the state. In the state’s first 200,000 cases, Mumbai’s share stood at 41.61%, while in the first 100,000 cases, the figure was 54.83%.

“The virus infections in the city (Mumbai) have stabilised, as its daily share in the state figure has dropped to around 15%, from 50% a few weeks ago. I think the rest of MMR [Mumbai Metropolitan Area] has reached the peak, while the rest of Maharashtra has just begun. We expect the curve to stabilise in the rest of the MMR in next two weeks and in the rest of the state in the next four weeks,” said Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the task force appointed by the state government for clinical management of critical patients.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday reviewed the pandemic situation in various districts during a video conference with district collectors and divisional commissioners. The CM asked district authorities to ramp up Covid-19 facilities that can handle a surge in cases.

Thackeray also asked the local authorities to implement the Dharavi model to arrest the spread of the virus. “WHO has praised the Dharavi model, which can be replicated in other parts of the state. Great amount of transparency was maintained by the Mumbai civic body, without hiding any information. Other civic bodies should convince people by citing the Mumbai example to win over their trust,” he said.

Cities such as Kalyan-Dombivali, Bhiwandi, Mira-Bhayandar, Panvel, Nashik and Pune have been asked ramp up health infrastructure. “We have been closely monitoring these cities and districts to ensure more facilities in coming days,” said a top official, asking not to be named.

The civic bodies in rest of MMR have been directed to set up unified command centres so that the relatives of the patients get information about the availability of beds and ambulances are made available at one contact point. They have also been instructed to ensure that test reports are made available in 24 hours.

The Maharashtra CM’s principal adviser, Ajoy Mehta, said that the doubling of the patients in 10 days in districts such as Gadchiroli was worrisome. “To keep the CFR in check, the availability of oxygen is key. To trace the suspected contacts, activate vigilance committees at village level,” he said.

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