2 lakh Covid cases in July, toll for state tops 375,000

  • | Monday | 27th July, 2020

Maharashtra on Sunday reported 9,431 new Covid-19 infections and 267 deaths, taking the tally to 375,799 and toll to 13,656. The state reported 201,038 infections (53.50% of the state’s tally) in July itself.

Maharashtra on Sunday reported 9,431 new Covid-19 infections and 267 deaths, taking the tally to 375,799 and toll to 13,656. The state reported 201,038 infections (53.50% of the state’s tally) in July itself.

The state has 148,601 active cases, with 213,238 patients reported to have recovered till Sunday, translating into a recovery rate of 56.74%.

Mumbai maintained stability in terms of daily new cases with 1,101 infections taking the tally to 109,161, of which 22,536 are active ones. The recovery rate was 73%. With 57 more deaths, the city’s toll touched 6,093. Pune saw 1,921 new infections — most in the state — which took its tally to 51,291.

Of the 267 new deaths, 57 were in Mumbai, 28 in Pune, 17 in rural Pune and 10 in Pimpri-Chichwad. Thane district reported 23 deaths, while Jalgaon saw 10 more fatalities in the last 24 hours. State’s case fatality rate (CFR) was 3.63%, more than the national rate of 2.35% reported on Saturday.

In a welcome sign, the state’s positivity rate dropped, despite a significant rise in number of tests. Over the past week, 65,344 tested positive from 322,167 tests, at a positivity rate of 20.28%. It was 22.75% the previous week (between July 13 and 19), which saw 246,234 tests and 56,028 infections. A total of 46,023 daily tests were conducted on an average this week, up from 35,176 last week.

Even as the state government plans to open up activities after the sixth phase of the lockdown ends on July 31, the rise in cases in a few districts and cities in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) has become a cause of concern. “There will be extension of the ongoing lockdown at least by a month, although we are planning to open up activities in a phased manner. The first week of August will see a few more activities allowed, with stricter curbs in containment areas. The districts and civic bodies with a high number of cases have already been told to ramp up health infrastructure and continue aggressive tracing and testing,” said a state official.

Rajendra Shingne, food and drug administration minister and senior NCP leader, said, “We have been asked to take a decision about the imposition of a stricter lockdown or relaxation from it at the local level on the basis of the current scenario of cases. Collectors and guardian ministers of respective districts will take a call. State-level policy is being finalised at the CM’s level.”

Some districts such as Ahmednagar have reported a doubling rate as low as 6.6 days, against the state’s doubling rate of more than 24 days and some cities like Mumbai and Malegaon have improved their doubling rate substantially. Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad and Pimpri-Chichwad have doubled the number of patients in 7.5 and 9.3 days respectively. Mumbai and Malegaon, the cities which were virus hotspots in the initial stages of the outbreak, topped the chart with an improved doubling rate of 43.31 and 67.38 days respectively.

The reproduction rate — the rate at which the infection is spread to others — in some districts indicate a very risky level of exponential spread. “In Kolhapur district and Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad, it’s 1.92, while in Ahmednagar it’s 1.87. Mumbai tops the chart with an impressive number of reproduction rate at 1.08. Pune remains a cause of concern owing to high daily number of cases, relatively high reproduction rate and fast doubling period,” read the report prepared by a group headed by Neeraj Hatekar, economist, Mumbai University.

The reproduction rate of more than 1 indicates a spreading of the virus at a high rate.

Sanjay Kumar, chief secretary, said, “We have asked civic bodies and district collectors to strictly implement the strategy of strengthening health infrastructure and improving the quality of the services. We expect the death rate and number of cases to reduce in the next few days. The discussion on the relaxations to be offered from the first week of August is underway and we are planning to issue the notification by July 31,” he said.

Another officer said that the state’s strategy over the unlocking of the activities will be finalised after meetings between Centre and states in the next couple of days.

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