The death toll in Maharashtra due to COVID-19 touched 19 on Wednesday, with the total number of cases rising to 336.
While a 56-year-old man from Dharavi in Mumbai succumbed at Sion hospital on Wednesday, a 63-year-old man from Malvani in the city, who had tested positive on Tuesday, passed away in the evening. The senior citizen, a Muslim, was cremated after the trustees of a burial ground in Malvani refused to bury the body.
The family of the deceased alleged that initially, the doctors had refused to hand over the body to the relatives on the ground that as per norms, it had to be cremated. The family went on to approach a local corporator, who convinced the doctors to hand over the body for burial. However, as the burial ground refused, the body was cremated at a crematorium in Kandivali.
In Mumbai, over the last 48 hours, while a 51-year-old man had died in Kasturba Hospital, a 73-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man had died in Wockhardt hospital, and a 63-year-old woman from Worli Koliwada died in Nair hospital.
The state on Wednesday reported 34 new cases – 30 in Mumbai, three in Pune and one in Buldhana.
Anup Kumar Yadav, Director of National Health Mission, said in most of the cases of death, the patients neither had a foreign travel history nor came in close contact with any infected person. “We can confirm 16 deaths as of now. Contact tracing procedure is on,” he said regarding the Dharavi resident. Eight to 10 family members of the Dharavi resident have been put in quarantine. The Mumbai Police, along with the BMC, has sealed eight Slum Rehabilitation Authority buildings in Dharavi.
The civic body has begun contact tracing in the area, one of the mose densely populated localities in the city. Dharavi, home to 15 lakh people, is spread over 613 hectares. Earlier, a 68-year-old domestic help was the first person from the slum to have tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, 40 doctors in Seven Hills hospital were quarantined after the wife of a resident doctor, who works in Fortis hospital, tested positive. The resident doctor had attended a meeting with the 40 doctors. “We were all wearing masks at the meeting. Since his wife has tested positive and he is a close contact, there is risk of further transmission. As a precautionary measure, all doctors have been tested,” said hospital in-charge Dr Mohan Joshi, who is himself ill and on two days leave. Joshi said he too was being tested.
A cleaner in Saifee hospital has also tested positive. BMC officials suspect he caught the infection from a 85-year-old surgeon who was taken to the hospital’s CT scan unit for a test and later passed away. At least 40 hospital employees were quarantined and tested. The cleaner, aged 44, is a resident of Vikhroli. Contact tracing has started.
Dr Vernon Desa, medical director in Saifee hospital, said, “He has been employed by a private company. He could have caught the infection from the neighbourhood where he lives.”
Civic officials, however, said the cleaner had come in contact with the 85-year-old infected surgeon. “He was one of those quarantined after we traced all employees who were high-risk cases,” an official said. The area around Saifee hospital itself has 17 clusters where containment measures have been enforced.
One person from Buldana tested positive on Wednesday, taking the total number of positive cases in the district to three. “The person who test positive was employed at the private hospital where a COVID-19 patient, who died on Saturday at Buldana District Hospital, was earlier admitted,” Buldana Collector Suman Chandra said.
Thus, the man could be first case of a hospital employee to test positive in Vidarbha. “He is young and asymptomatic,” Chandra said.
Meanwhile, a 70-year-old man from Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh died at Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMC) in Nagpur on Wednesday. Since he showed symptoms similar to those in COVID-19 cases, his samples were sent for test. The report is awaited.
“He is from a remote village in Seoni district with no foreign travel or close contact history. But since he showed all symptoms, we shifted him to the isolation ward after he was brought here on Tuesday. He died around 2.30 pm of respiratory attack,” said IGGMC Deputy Medical Superintendent Sagar Pande. “His had respiratory problems for about one year. So, we don’t except this to be a COVID-19 case,” Pande added.
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