Maharashtra: Massive drop in fresh COVID cases; state continues to face vaccination huddle

By PTI
MUMBAI: The daily number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra dropped to 48,700 on Monday, taking the count of infections to 43,43,727 while 524 deaths pushed the toll to 65,284, the state health department said.

Maharashtra had reported the lowest number of infections in this month so far on April 1 (43,183 cases).

On April 2, the state had added 47,827 infections.

With 2,22,475 new tests on Monday, the number of samples tested so far in Maharashtra rose to 2,59,72 018, the department said.

“Maharashtra has been seeing the daily spike of around 60,000 cases in the last two months. The state had reported the highest number of 68,631 cases in a day on April 18. In the last one week, there has been no significant rise in the number of daily cases. In the last six days, 4,42,466 patients have recovered and discharged,” state health minister Rajesh Tope said.

On Monday, 71,736 patients recovered from COVID-19, including 13,674 recoveries from Pune, which is the highest such number in the state, he added.

The health department said 36,01,796people have recovered so far in Maharashtra.

Of the new fatalities, 293 patietns had died in the last 48 hours, it said.

Mumbai city reported 3,840 fresh cases and 71 deaths, taking the number of infections to 6,31,484 and the fatalities to 12,861.

Mumbai division, including Mumbai city and satellite towns, reported 9,683 new cases and 130 deaths, which raised the overall count of infections to 13,25,582 and the death toll to 22,755, the department said.

ALSO READ | Is ‘COVID hotspot’ Maharashtra on path of recovery? State government, task force think so

Nashik division reported 8,476 new cases including 2,885 in Nashikcity.

Pune division reported 9,093 cases including 2666 in Pune city.

Kolhapur division added 2,589 infections, Aurangabad division 2,319, Latur division 3,545, Akola division3,541,and Nagpur division 9,454 cases, including 3,799 in Nagpur city, it said.

Maharashtra’s coronavirus figures are as follows: Total cases 43,43,727, deaths 65,284, recoveries 36,01,796, active 6,74,770, total tests 2,59,72,018, vaccination on April 25:1,05,467 and upto April 25: 1,43,56,274.

Mumbai reported 3,876 new COVID- 19 cases on Monday, the lowest daily count since March 30, while 70 more patients succumbed to the infection, the city civic body said.

According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s updated data, with the addition of 3,876 cases, the COVID-19 tally increased to 6,31,527, while the death toll jumped to 12,853.

As compared to Sunday, the metropolis has reported 1,666 fewer cases, but six more deaths.

A day before, the financial capital had registered 5,542 new cases and 64 fatalities.

The city had witnessed 4,758 new cases on March 30 and after that it registered a sudden surge in infections.

On April 4, Mumbai had added a record 11,163 cases and 10,000- plus infections on a couple of days in the current month.

The number of daily cases has been gradually declining in the last few days.

In the last 24 hours, Mumbai saw 28,328 COVID-19 tests, the lowest this month, taking the number of samples examined so far to 52,72,062, the data showed.

Also, 9,150 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, pushing the number of recovered cases to 5,46,861, the civic body said.

With this, the tally of active cases has gone down to 70,373, it said.

Since the last few days, the number of discharged patients has been higher than the new COVID-19 cases.

As per the BMC data, Mumbai’s COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 87 per cent, while the infection growth rate has dropped to 1.09 per cent.

The case doubling rate improved to 62 days, the civic body said.

According to the BMC, the number of active containment zones in slums and ‘chawls’ (old row tenements) stood at 104, while the city currently has 1,084 sealed buildings.

Earlier in the day, Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the Maharashtra government’s COVID-19 task force, said Mumbai may have turned the corner in its fight against the pandemic.

The turnaround was due to the metropolis tackling the surge during the second COVID-19 wave with an “ATM strategy”, which is ‘Assess, Triage and Transfer, and Management’, he said.

Dr Joshi, an endocrinologist, told PTI that Mumbai may have hit the second wave peak and the flattening phase could have begun.

“During the first wave (last year), Mumbai used to hardly conduct 15,000 to 18,000 tests.

However, during the second wave (which started around mid-February), the test numbers range between 40,000 and 50,000.

“Mumbai has passed the peak as cases are plateauing, but the plateau could be longer,” Joshi said.

With the fear of a shortage of vaccines probably weighing on their minds, people queued up in scorching heat outside vaccination centres in Mumbai on Monday to receive anti COVID-19 jabs, a day after the civic body observed the fresh stock will ensure smooth vaccination only till April 28.

Earlier this month, 75 of the 120 vaccination centres across Mumbai, including a jumbo COVID-19 facility in business district BKC, had suspended inoculation due to a shortage of doses.

Long queues were seen outside several government and civic-run vaccination centres in the megapolis though only 94 of the total 135 COVID-19 vaccination centres remained functional, sources said.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said only 94 vaccination centres remained functional, including 12 run by the government, 40 by private (hospitals) and 42 by the civic body on Monday.

“31 of the 94 centres administered both Covishild and Covaxin vaccines to people,” the BMC tweeted.

The Mumbai civic body on Sunday said it received 1.5 lakh Covishield vaccines and 8,000 doses of Covaxin, and all the vaccination centres in the city will be functional on April 26.

As per the BMC data, a total 45,326 people were inoculated during the day with 42,006 of them receiving Covishild shots and 3,320 Covaxin including 2,233 beneficiaries who received the second doses.

Of the total 135 vaccination centres in Mumbai, 75 centres are private, 42 are run by the BMC while 17 are operated by the state government.

According to civic sources, some inoculation centres like NESCO in Goregaon, Dahisar Jumbo centre, Kandivali Shatabdi, Sion Hospital and BKC jumbo centre saw long queues since early morning.

Several people waited in scorching heat for their turn to receive jabs.

Meanwhile, the BMC has appealed to private centres equipped with cold storage facilities, sufficient manpower and space to apply for setting up vaccination centres.

Currently, essential services workers, frontline workers and the citizens above 45 years of age are allowed to receive doses of vaccines.

In the next phase of vaccination beginning May 1, all people between the age group of 18 to 45 years will become eligible for inoculation.

According to the BMC estimate, Mumbai has a population of 90 lakh of people above 18 years.