A day after it breached the 100,000 mark, Maharashtra on Saturday reported its third highest single-day spike of 3,427 new coronavirus disease cases, taking the tally to 104,568. The death toll in the state has reached 3,830.
Mumbai, the worst affected Indian city, saw 1,380 new infections and 69 more deaths taking the tally of the cases to 56,831 and deaths to 2113.
The city accounted for 63.73% of the state’s new cases on May 14, 56.47% on May 28 and 49.06% on June 4. This percentage dropped further to 39.10% on Friday.
While Mumbai has been able to restrict the virus spread to some extent, a spike in the caseload in rural parts of the state and districts like Solapur, Aurangabad, Yavatmal, Jalgaon remains a cause of concern for the administration. The district administrations have been directed to focus on the containment by ramping up the health infrastructure.
“We are implementing Dharavi pattern in districts like Aurangabad to bring mortality rate down and effective tracing of the patients. Thermal scanners and oximeters are being aggressively used in these districts that have witnessed a rising caseload. Asha workers and other health workers are being roped in to form surveillance squads for tracing and testing,” said Dr Sadhana Tayade, director, health services.
The state authorities have also directed the Mumbai corporation for the immediate acquisition of beds in private hospitals. This has come after the Central government on Thursday expressed concerns over the high mortality rate and pointed at the possibility of the shortage of the ICU beds in a few districts and cities of Maharashtra.
“Barring Mumbai, we have been able to cope with the demand for ICU beds required for patients. While acquiring additional stock of ventilators, we have also asked the district authorities to trace the vulnerable patients early so that they would not need to be put on ventilators,” said an official from the state government.
Meanwhile, state health minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday said that the government has reduced the rates of the Covid-19 tests conducted by private laboratories from ~4,500 to ~2,200.
“~2,200 will be charged for collecting the swabs through viral transport media (VTM) from hospitals, while it would cost ~2,800 for collection of swab from home. Earlier, the charges were ~4,500 and ~5,200 respectively,” he said.