MUMBAI: Maharashtra has emerged as a global hotspot of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of mortality rates giving a huge cause of concern to health authorities in the state and the Centre.
The state health department, however, rejected the report saying while there is no doubt that the mortality rate in Maharashtra is among the highest in the world, it is lower than that of two states – Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.
According to the state health department data, Maharashtra’s mortality rate is 6.88 per cent. On Tuesday morning when the report was released, the state had recorded 166 deaths and 2380 positive cases.
Jharkhand, which has 24 patients, has a mortality rate of 8.33 per cent. With 43 deaths and 604 positive patients, the mortality rate in Madhya Pradesh stands at 7.22 per cent.
Interestingly, the average mortality rate in the world is 6.29 per cent while India’s average is 3.27 per cent.
As per state health department data, on the 24th day since the beginning of coronavirus outbreak, 100 positive cases were reported on a single day, while on the 37th day, it spiked to 344.
The figure went up to 1761 patients ten days later on 35th day.
As of 10 pm on Wednesday, the total coronavirus cases in the state stands at 2916 with 187 deaths. 295 patients have been discharged.
Mumbai is the epicenter of the pandemic in the state. India's 'Maximum City' has over 1500 patients and 100 deaths already. Every day, Mumbai is getting more than 200 new cases while the state's average is 344 cases and 12 deaths.
Pune is the second largest hotspot for the coronavirus cases with 272 cases and a total of 30 deaths.
Meanwhile, the state government has decided to seek the help of renowned economists, doctors, senior IAS officer and ministers to prepare a lockdown exit plan, and also contain the spread of the coronavirus.
This on a Wednesday when the total number of cases in the state stood at 2961 and deaths recorded rose to 187. The good news, if it could be called that, was there was a dip with only 232 positive cases being recorded.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray had recently appealed to ex-servicemen who worked in medical and para-medical departments to join in the fight against the coronavirus if they do not have any work at present. His appeal has received an overwhelming response from 21,000 doctors and para-medical personnel.
They expressed their desire to work with the government during these unprecedented times. The government will deploy these personnel as per requirements in hospitals across the state, sources said.
Maharashtra government, which has been struggling to pay the salary of its employees, has roped in economists and bankers such as Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, Dr Vijay Kelkar, Deepak Parekh and Ajit Ranade. They will be on the government panel and give recommendations to revive the state's economy.
Responding to the CM's appeal, Mashelkar, a National Research Professor, tweeted: “We are all with you chief minister of Maharashtra to fight against the coronavirus."
Thackeray has formed the Group of Ministers under the leadership of deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar who will study how lockdown can be gradually lifted and permissions will be given to manufacturing firms to resume their operation.
“The group of ministers will have to study the current financial conditions of the state and recommend various measures to bring back the slowing economy to normalcy,” said Balasaheb Thorat, revenue minister.
The state government has formed another task force of the doctors which will recommend the various measures to state government. Besides, they will talk with the various health officers and doctors across the state and guide them on how to fight the coronavirus.