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24,645 new coronaviurs cases in Maharashtra, Uddhav government mulls lockdown in urban areas

Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said people must follow COVID-19 safety protocols if the state is to avoid another lockdown.

Published: 22nd March 2021 10:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2021 10:44 PM   |  A+A-

A health worker collects nasal swab of a passenger for COVID-19 test at a long distance train station in Mumbai. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

MUMBAI: A day after Maharashtra reported highest single-day spike since the outbreak of COVID-19, the state on Monday saw a drop in daily count, recording 24,645 new cases.

While the caseload increased to 25,04,327, the state also reported 58 deaths due to COVID-19, taking the death toll to 53,457.

On Sunday, the state had reported 30,535 cases, while on Saturday 27,126 infections were recorded.

On March 18, the state had reported 25,833 cases.

The earlier high was 24,896, recorded in September.

On Monday, 19,463 patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the number of recovered persons to 22,34,330.

Among cities, Mumbai reported highest 3,262 fresh cases.

The country's financial capital has till now recorded 3,65,937 cases and 11,596 deaths.

Out of the total 24,645 newcases reported in Maharashtra on Monday, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) which includes areas surrounding Mumbai too, accounted for 6,212 cases.

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The total number ofcasesreported in the MMR so far is 8,01,195 and death toll is 20,075.

The Pune circle -- which covers Pune, Solapur and Satara districts reported 4,737 new cases and five new deaths during the day.

In the Nagpur circle, a total of 4,231 freshcaseswere reported.

The state's recovery rate is 89.22 per cent, while the fatality rate is 2.13 per cent, the health department said.

Currently, 10,63,077 people are in home quarantine and 11,092 in institutional quarantine in the state.

The number of active cases in the state increased to 2,15,241 on Monday from 2,10,120 a day earlier.

With 1,05,830 new tests on Monday, the number of samples tested for coronavirus so far in the state increased to 1,84,62,030, the government said.

Maharashtra's COVID-19 tally is as follows: Positive cases: 25,04,327; new cases 24,645; total deaths: 53,457; discharged 22,34,330; active cases: 2,15,241; people tested so far: 1,84,62,030.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said people must follow COVID-19 safety protocols if the state is to avoid another lockdown.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was of the view that lockdown may become necessary in some cities if the new cases continue to climb, Tope told reporters here.

He met the Chief Minister two days ago, Tope said.

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"He told me that if the number of daily cases in the state remains in the range of 25,000 to 30,000 for the next some days, then we will have to take some stringent steps. He is of the opinion that if the numbers continue to increase, we will have to impose lockdown in some cities," the minister said.

"I appeal people to respond to CM's warning (about possibility of lockdown) positively and follow the COVID-19 protocols such as mask wearing, hand hygiene and physical distancing to avoild lockdown," Tope said.

He also said that the Centre has told the states that the gap between two shots of Covishield vaccine will be 45 to 60 days instead of the present 28 days.

The gap between doses of Covaxin will be same as earlier, that is 28 days.

He has discussed the latest surge in cases with epidemiologists, the health minister said.

"According to their estimate, the graph of COVID-19 cases will remain the same for the next two to three days and after that, it will decline. I think this is a peak and I hope it will go down," said Tope.

He also said that the state was not hiding any cases, and each case is registered with the ICMR.

"The question is if this is being followed in other states or not," he said.

While the Centre wants at least 70 per cent of tests to be RTPCR, in Maharashtra, the proporftion is 73 per cent, Tope said.

"We have over 550 RTPCR labs in the state. So we have told all the civil surgeons that the RT-PCR should be used at its full capacity," he said.

Big rallies are being held in some of the poll-bound states where no social distancing is followed, and in Gujarat, cricket matches were held with thousands in attendance, the minister pointed out.

Tope also denied that vaccines were going to waste.

"It was told (by the centre) that 58 lakh doses were given to the state and now the vaccine doses are still lying unused. There is no such situation," he said.

"Every day, 3 lakh vaccinations are happening and we are trying to increase it by roping in private hospitals and setting up sub-centres in rural areas to make it convenient for the people," he added.

ALSO READ | Over 4.72 crore coronavirus vaccine doses administered so far: Health Ministry

There are 1.77 crore people who are eligible for the vaccine in the current phase and the state will need 2.20 crore doses for them, Tope said, adding that the government was striving to complete this phase in three months.

Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in Pune, the civic body on Monday restarted a jumbo treatment facility set up last year in a college ground in Shivajinagar when the outbreak was at its peak.

Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said the facility restarted on Monday with 55 beds, and some 500 beds will be activated initially, including 250 oxygenated and 50 ICU ones.

"The 55 beds with which the jumbo hospital has started include 25 oxygenated and five ICU beds. In the next days, 500 beds will be in place," he added.



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