Updated: March 21, 2021 7:21:18 am
Maharashtra on Saturday recorded 27,126 new Covid-19 cases, beating all its past records. This is the highest number of new cases that the state has reported since the pandemic began last year. The last highest count was recorded on March 18, this year, when 25,833 cases were reported across the state.
In an indication of how a largely unexposed population is now getting infected, Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday tweeted that he has tested positive for the virus.
“On having mild symptoms of COVID, I had myself tested and I am COVID positive. I request everyone who came in contact with me to get themselves tested,” he tweeted. “I urge everyone to realise that it is extremely important to not let your guard down. Please follow COVID protocols and stay safe,” he added.
Dr Satish Badgire, medical officer in H East ward (Bandra East), where Aaditya resides, said: “Our team will visit his residence tomorrow for contact tracing. We will draw a list of all high-risk contacts and as per protocol, they are all supposed to observe quarantine.”
Aaditya had met several BMC officials on Friday, including H East Assistant Commissioner Alka Sasane, to discuss Covid-19 management. The chief minister and Aaditya’s father Uddhav Thackeray may also be asked to observe quarantine, a civic official said.
In the first 20 days of March, the daily case load in Maharashtra has increased by four-and-a-half times. Active cases on Saturday stood at 1.91 lakh.
Deaths due to the virus are also on the rise. Ninety-two people succumbed to the infection on Saturday, taking the statewide toll to 53,300. Until March beginning, daily toll ranged between 30 to 40, it has now more than doubled. Even as death rate remains firmly below 0.5 per cent, health officials expect daily toll to keep rising in absolute numbers.
In a clear and fast progression, Maharashtra is expected to cross three lakh active cases by the end of March. State officials said the second wave will peak much higher than the first one, when 24,886 cases were recorded September 11, last year.
At 3,200, Pune recorded the most number of cases in the state on Saturday. Mumbai recorded 2,983 new cases, followed by Nagpur at 2,873, Pimpri-Chinchwad at 1,468, Nashik at 1,196 and Aurangabad city at 1,019.
Other regions that are showing a fast growth in infection are Nagpur rural, Pune rural, Kalyan-Dombivali, Thane, Ahmednagar and Akola.
Mumbai reported seven deaths, taking the city’s toll to 11,576. Pune’s toll reached 4,643 with one death on Saturday and Nagpur reported seven deaths, taking its toll to 2,813.
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