COVID-19: Maharashtra sees 31,643 new cases, 102 deaths; bed shortages reported in Mumbai

By PTI
MUMBAI: A day after reporting the highest one-day rise of 40,414 coronavirus positive cases, Maharashtra on Monday added 31,643 fresh infections, taking the overall tally to 27,45,518, the state health department said.

With 102 fatalities, the death toll in the state went up to 54,283.

The detection of fewer cases on Monday is attributed to reduced testing because of Holi holiday.

Maharashtra has been conducting more than 1.50 lakh tests every day on average for the detection of coronavirus positive cases.

On Monday, the state conducted 1,36,848 tests against 1,65,591 samples that were tested on Sunday.

Mumbai reported 5,890 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and 12 deaths, taking the tally to 4,04,614 and the toll to 11,665, the department said.

Of the 102 deaths, 85 fatalities occurred in the last 48 hours whereas 14 patients had succumbed in the last week.

The rest three fatalities had taken place before the last week, it said.

A total of 20,854 patients were discharged during the day, taking the count of recoveries in Maharashtra to 23,53,307, it said.

The state is now left with 3,36,584 active cases.

Thane city neighbouring Mumbai reported 1,010 fresh cases while 934 infections were added in the limits of the Kalyan Dombivali municipal corporation, a Health official said.

Pune city and neighbouring Pimpri Chinchwad township reported 2,554 and 1,481 new cases, respectively, taking the tally to 2,69,429 in the Pune corporation area and to1,31,675 in the Pimpri Chinchwad area.

Nashik city recorded 1,892 new cases, taking its caseload to 1,12,345.

A total of 825 infections were detected in Nashik district, the department said.

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Ahmednagar district neighbouring Nashik also reported 1,892 fresh cases.

With 825 new cases found in the Ahmednagar district, the overall tally rose to 59,368.

Ahmednagar municipal corporation reported 470 new cases, taking the tally to 31,994, as per the department.

In the Marathwada region, Aurangabad city reported 803 new cases while 678 cases were detected in Nanded city.

Beed and Osmanabad districts reported 398 and 323 new infections, respectively, which is indicative of a higher number of cases to be detected in these districts in the next two days, the official said.

Buldana and Washim districts reported 435 and 426 new cases, respectively, during the day.

The local administration has already undertaken measures like imposition of a night curfew and clamping a weekend lockdown, but the number of new cases continues to rise, the official said.

Nagpur city and Nagpur district (barring the city) added 2,281 and 962 new cases, respectively, in the day.

With 1,36,848 new tests, the number of samples tested for coronavirus in Maharashtra has gone up to 1,94,95,189.

Maharashtra’s COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases: 27,45,518, new cases: 31,643, death toll: 54,283, discharged: 23,53,307, active cases: 3,36,584, people tested so far: 1,94,95,189.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai civic body on Monday decided to discharge asymptomatic patients at the earliest to vacate beds for the patients with more serious symptoms.

The civic body has also decided to place the order for procuring 1.5 lakh injections of antiviral drug Remdesivir and other medical equipment to avoid any potential shortage of medicines at hospitals, a senior official said.

In its order, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that no asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patient without any comorbidities will be allotted a COVID bed in any public or private hospital.

It described the “needy” patient as the one with “mild or serious symptoms or a COVID-19 patient with comorbidities”.

Mumbai on Sunday reported the highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases by adding 6,923 new infections, taking the total tally to 3,98,674.

BMC commissioner I S Chahal has empowered assistant commissioners to take decisions at the ward level and stressed activation of war rooms at the ward level for better management of available beds, ICU beds, ventilators among others, as per the order.

Chahal stated all admissions should be routed through the ward level war rooms to avoid any chaos experienced during the first wave of coronavirus when several patients ran from the pillar to post to get a bed.

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The civic chief also pointed out that direct admission in any COVID Care Centre or private hospitals will not be permitted without prior intimation to the ward war room.

“No asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patient without any co-morbidities be allotted COVID bed in any public/private hospital to ensure prompt availability of beds to the needy. Urgently discharge any asymptomatic COVID positive patients admitted to any COVID hospital to vacate the beds,” Chahal said.

The order stated that 80 per cent of the total beds and 100 per cent of ICU beds in private hospitals shall be kept reserved only for the allotment through the ward war rooms for COVID-19 patients.

“No direct admissions on these reserved beds to be taken by hospitals,” the order said.

Chahal directed all hospitals in the megapolis to charge patients as per the rates notified by the Maharashtra government.

“All the bills will be audited by the municipal auditors,” the commissioner said.

Chahal also directed officials to immediately assess the structural stability and fire audit of all COVID facilities.

As on March 25, there are 8,466 non-ICU beds and 931 ICU beds being operationalised at the hospitals run by the government and the BMC, the order said.

Meanwhile, the BMC has also decided to place the order for procuring 1.5 lakh injections of antiviral drug Remdesivir and other medical equipment to avoid any potential shortage of medicines at hospitals.

A senior official said a sizeable number of new cases are being reported from high-rise buildings.

“We are worried due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city, which is a hub of major industrial and financial institutions.

To treat coronavirus positive patients, we need to buy as many 1.5 lakh vials of Remdesivir injection so that we can cover maximum patients.

“We want to avoid any shortage of medicines by hospitals or treatment centres,” said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner (health), BMC.

Remdesivir is a broad-spectrum anti-viral medication.

Because of a steady rise in new cases, the Maharashtra government recently decided to purchase additional oxygen cylinders and ventilators for various COVID treatment centres.

Maharashtra on Sunday reported 40,414 coronavirus positive cases, the highest rise so far in a single day, taking its tally to 27,13,875, just two days after the caseload reached 26 lakh, as per the state health department.

In a meeting held with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Health Minister Rajesh Tope and other officials on Sunday, principal secretary to state health department Dr Pradeep Vyas had predicted a “tremendous stress” on the availability of beds, oxygen supply, and ventilators, which could fall short if the cases continue to go up.

As COVID-19 cases rise in the twin city of Kalyan and Dombivali in Thane district of Maharashtra, the local municipal corporation has put restrictions on the number of people visiting the civic office, an official said on Monday.

Similarly, the number of visitors to civic ward offices has also been restricted.

In an order issued on Monday, Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) Commissioner Vijay Suryavanshi said former corporators and office-bearers should book an appointment over the phone and visit the civic office only if it is necessary.

Suryavanshi directed municipal officials to hold meetings virtually for which no outsider should be allowed to attend.

Besides, all letters to the KDMC should be sent through email, the order stated.

Citizens have been asked to make payment of tax digitally and avoid visiting the civic office.

Thane district has so far reported 3,09,561 coronavirus positive cases, an official said earlier in the day.