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Monday, September 21, 2020

Highlights: Maharashtra extends lockdown till August 31

For the first time in over three months, only 7.9 per cent of those tested in Mumbai in a day were found to be Covid-19 positive. Mumbai on Tuesday saw 8,776 people being tested, the highest number of tests conducted in the city in a single day so far.

By: Express Web Desk | Mumbai, New Delhi | Updated: July 30, 2020 8:51:33 am
coronavirus news, maharashtra coronavirus news, maharashtra coronavirus cases, mumbai news, corona news, mumbai corona cases, mumbai latest news, mumbai coronavirus, mumbai coronavirus news, mumbai corona, mumbai corona cases, maharashtra coronavirus, thane corona cases, covid 19 news, pune coronavirus news, thane coronavirus news, maharashtra news, mumbai coronavirus news, mumbai covid 19 news, lockdown, pune coronavirus At a Covid-19 testing center in Mankhurd on Tuesday. (Express Photo: Amit Chakravarty)

Maharashtra on Wednesday extended the statewide lockdown till August 31 in an effort to contain the increase in coronavirus cases. The state government has however allowed the opening of malls, market complexes without theatres, food courts and restaurants between 9 am and 7 pm from August 5.

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Maharashtra is inching towards recording 4 lakh coronavirus cases as the tally in the state rose to 3,91,440 on Tuesday with the addition of 7,717 new cases, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said. With 282 patients succumbing to the infection, the death toll mounted to 14,165, he said. The state makes up nearly a fourth of the number of cases across India. A total of 10,333 patients were discharged in the day, taking the number of recovered cases in the state to 2,32,277 while the count of active cases dropped from 1,47,592 on Monday to 1,44,694 on Tuesday, the health minister said. A total of 19,68,559 people have been tested so far in the state.

Meanwhile, a sero-survey conducted in Mumbai showed that more than half the people, or 57 per cent, tested in slums had been exposed to and developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus as compared to only 16 per cent of those tested in residential societies.

India’s coronavirus cases crossed the 15 lakh-mark to reach 1,531,669 on Wednesday. The total number of death toll in the country reached 34,193. As many as 48,512 cases and 768 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

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Maharashtra nears 4 lakh cases; BMC spends Rs 610 crore for Covid-19; Pune hospital reports first case of vertical transmission from mother to child.

23:05 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Maharashtra extends lockdown till Aug 31

Govt of Maharashtra issues directions to extend the lockdown, with amendments, to operationalize MISSION BEGIN AGAIN for easing of restrictions and phase-wise opening, till 31 August, 2020.

In Municipal Corporations of Mumbai Metropolitan Area including Greater Mumbai, Pune, Solapur, Aurangabad, Malegaon, Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur, malls and market complexes to be operational from 9 am to 7 pm from 5 Aug, but without theatres,food courts and restaurants.

However, outdoor non-team sports like Golf courses, outdoor firing range, outdoor gymnastics, tennis, outdoor badminton and malkhamb will be allowed with physical distancing & sanitation measures from 5 August. Swimming pools will not be allowed to operate

20:27 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Two more test positive in Dharavi; active cases 83 Mumbai

Mumbai's slum colony of Dharavi recorded just two new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the tally to 2,545, said a senior civic official. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said the slum-dominated area has only 83 active COVID-19 cases at present. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients in Dharavi has increased to 2,212, he said. The civic body has, however, stopped disclosing COVID-19 deaths, if any, since last month. Notably, Dadar and Mahim, areas which fall under the G north civic ward that also houses Dharavi, recorded 25 each new COVID-19 cases, the official said. The first COVID-19 patient was found in Dharavi on April 1, nearly 20 days after the maiden case of the viral infection was detected in the city on March 11. Spread across 2.5 square km, Dharavi, considered as one of the largest slums in Asia, has a population over 6.5 lakh.

20:21 (IST)29 Jul 2020
COVID-19: Nagpur adds record 305 cases; 11 die, 379 recover

Nagpur district on Wednesday reported 305 new coronavirus cases - highest one-day spike -taking its tally to 4,792, while 11 more deaths pushed up the toll above the 100-mark, the local administration said. Also, 379 patients were discharged from hospitals -highest in a day so far - raising the count of recoveries to 3,069, said a District Information Office release here. The number of active coronavirus cases stood at 1,616 in the eastern Maharashtra district, it said. Eleven more patients died - highest fatalities in a day - taking the toll to 107, the release added.

20:10 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Maha CM to visit Pune on Thursday to review COVID-19 situation

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will visit Pune on Thursday to take stock of the coronavirus situation in the district, officials said. This will be Thackeray's first visit to Pune ever since the coronavirus outbreak began. "The chief minister will visit Pune and take a review of the district's COVID-19 response," an official from the district administration said on Wednesday. Pune district so far has reported over 74,000 COVID-19 cases and 1,792 deaths, officials said.

19:53 (IST)29 Jul 2020
BEST unions demand compensation for Covid-19 victims Mumbai

The BEST Workers' Joint Action Committee has launched an online petition seeking compensation for the kin of the employees of the city bus service Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) who died due to COVID-19. Over 1,350 BEST employees have tested positive for coronavirus and 107 employees have died due to the viral infection, the petition addressed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray claimed. The committee, a joint forum of BEST unions, demanded immediate payment of a compensation of Rs 50 lakh each to the families of dead employees. The petition, launched on Tuesday, had been signed by over 900 people by Wednesday evening, union leaders said.

It would be submitted to the chief minister, they said. "Deaths of 107 out of (total) 34,000 employees means the death rate is 130 times the country's per million population mortality rate," said Shashank Rao, convener of the action committee. The BEST administration was not paying attention to their demands, he claimed. The action committee also demanded that BEST announce a list of employees who died while serving since the outbreak of the pandemic. Apart from compensation, their legal heirs should get jobs as per a Government Resolution, it said. The petition also demanded a dedicated COVID-19 treatment facility for BEST employees and their families at WadalaBus Depot. The BEST administration has illegally issued charge-sheets to thousands of workers and dismissed many over absence from duty during lockdown, the committee alleged. BEST officials could not be reached for comment.

14:17 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Pune: Shortage in private hospitals as nurses leave for Middle East countries, govt jobs, home

A number of private hospitals are facing shortage of nurses, an issue that the authorities took up at a meeting called by the divisional commissioner’s office on Tuesday. Hospital authorities said some nurses had quit either for better opportunities in Middle East countries or left to join short three-month contract jobs at government medical facilities. They further said some had also stopped reporting to work due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

At Noble hospital in Hadapsar, 80 nurses left in the last two months. An analysis shows that half of them preferred to leave for Middle East countries, while some returned to their native places – mostly Kerala – and others opted for short-term jobs with government hospitals that offered better salaries.

14:11 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Maharashtra: CM to visit Pune soon to review Covid-19 response, says Ajit Pawar
The Covid-19 response in Pune is being supervised by Pawar, who is the guardian minister of the district.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will visit Pune city within a couple of days to take stock of the Covid-19 response so far and future preparations by the district administration to tackle the infection, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said at a video-conference meeting held in Mumbai with Union minister Prakash Javadekar.

The Covid-19 response in Pune is being supervised by Pawar, who is the guardian minister of the district.

Thackeray has not visited Pune since he became the chief minister of Maharashtra in November last year. Members of opposition parties, including BJP MLA Siddharth Shirole, have accused Thackeray of not paying attention to the city, which is among the worst-affected in the country by the Covid-19 crisis.

13:14 (IST)29 Jul 2020
86,518 tests conducted per million; Aurangabad tests maximum per million people
Aurangabad has installed mobile vans and check posts at six entry points on the city’s periphery. 

With 86,518 tests conducted per million population, Aurangabad city is performing the maximum number of tests per millionin Maharashtra.

The city, which has a population of 11.75 lakh as per the 2011 Census and a substantial number of industrial units, has relied heavily on antigen testing to screen those entering its limits and isolating them before the infection could spread. Till now, Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has conducted 1.03 lakh tests – 67,148 antigen tests and 34,907 RT-PCR tests.

The city has reported 9,827 Covid-19 cases, reflecting a 10 per cent positivity rate. On a daily basis, AMC is conducting around 5,250 tests. Of them, 5,000 are antigen tests.

13:05 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Maharashtra: No fresh SOPs by govt, police seize vehicles with goats

Muslim MLAs and community leaders were indignant over the reluctance of the Uddhav Thackeray government to issue a fresh set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the celebration of Eid-ul Adha on August 1.

The absence of fresh guidelines meant that some vehicles ferrying animals for the ritual sacrifice were stopped by the Mumbai Police from entering the city on Tuesday.

Muslim MLAs had met NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday, asking him to interject on their behalf with the government. The delegation had sought approval for ferrying of animals into Mumbai and the help of the local administration in setting up temporary slaughter houses for the ritual sacrifice.

13:04 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Mumbai: Three booked for duping medical equipment supplier of Rs 1.3 crore

Three persons, allegedly posing as employees of a Kenya-based firm, have been booked for cheating a surgical and medical equipment supplier from south Mumbai of Rs 1.3 crore under the pretext of providing one lakh face masks. The three booked have been identified as Peter Sen Klob, Dr James Mubbuya and David.

According to the FIR was registered on Sunday, the 37-year-old supplier’s company was looking at procuring a variant of the N95 masks, called 3M N95, which are in short supply. He had issued an advertisement on April 24 on a business-to-business website seeking supply of these masks.

12:10 (IST)29 Jul 2020
India coronavirus numbers explained: Many states yet to ramp up tests
New daily cases reported in July

While Uttar Pradesh on Monday carried out over one lakh novel Coronavirus tests in a single day, there are many states which are still to step up their testing rate. Several of these states, including those who have caseloads more than 20,000, are testing less than 15,000 samples every day.

Among states with bigger caseloads that are lagging behind include Telangana, Bihar, Haryana, West Bengal, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. Gujarat has not been doing very well either. Of these, Telangana has carried out less than four lakh tests right now, while Bihar and Odisha both have less than five lakh tests.

11:33 (IST)29 Jul 2020
COVID-19 is ‘one big wave’, not seasonal, says WHO
A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask passes the Fortnum & Mason Plc store in London.

A World Health Organization official on Tuesday described the COVID-19 pandemic as “one big wave” and warned against complacency in the northern hemisphere summer since the infection does not share influenza’s tendency to follow seasons.

WHO officials have been at pains to avoid describing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases like those in Hong Kong as “waves” as this suggests the virus is behaving in ways beyond human control, when in fact concerted action can slow its spread.

Margaret Harris repeated that message in a virtual briefing in Geneva. “We are in the first wave. It’s going to be one big wave. It’s going to go up and down a bit. The best thing is to flatten it and turn it into just something lapping at your feet,” she said.

10:50 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Covid-19 vaccine tracker, July 29: Pfizer-BioNTech on the heels of Moderna, enters late stage clinical trials
Samples from coronavirus vaccine trials are handled in England. (File Photo via AP)

American drugmaker Pfizer Inc, which had partnered with German biotech firm BioNTech to develop a vaccine candidate against Covid-19 earlier this year, has become the latest in the list of major movers in the vaccine race to move into the final stages of human trials. Right on the heels of Moderna Therapeutics, Pfizer announced that its vaccine candidate, called BNT162b2 for the time being, has progressed to phase II/III trials.

Like Moderna, Pfizer’s candidate belongs to a category called a messenger RNA vaccine. These types of vaccines involve modifying a messenger RNA to get the cells to recreate the part of the virus that is crucial to target. In this case, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has modified the messenger RNA to instruct the cells in the body to produce the spiky outer surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus–the spike glycoprotein.

10:36 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Just In | India reports 48,512 cases, 768 deaths in last 24 hours; total infections cross 15 lakh-mark

India’s coronavirus cases crossed the 15 lakh-mark to reach 1,531,669 on Wednesday. The total number of death toll in the country reached 34,193. As many as 48,512 cases and 768 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. Of the total, 5,09,447 are active cases while 9,88,029 people have been treated and discharged so far.

09:29 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Bombay HC asks state about mechanism adopted to ensure pvt hospitals don’t overcharge for PPE kits
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Sarang V Kotwal heard, through video-conference, a public interest litigation. (File)

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday sought to know from the Maharashtra government if it had any mechanism in place to ensure that private hospitals and nursing homes did not overcharge for personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and other protective gear.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Sarang V Kotwal heard, through video-conference, a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Abhijeet Mangade stating some private hospitals were overcharging patients admitted for Covid-19 and non-Covid treatment, for ancillary items including PPE kits, gloves and N95 masks.

The bench asked the state government if it was monitoring such private hospitals and nursing homes and sought to know if there was any regulatory mechanism adopted.

09:00 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Higher share in slums exposed to virus than in societies: Mumbai sero survey
Despite the high exposure in slums, the survey found that fatalities had not been high.

A sero-survey conducted in Mumbai showedthat more than half the people, or 57 per cent, tested in slums had been exposed to and developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus as compared to only 16 per cent of those tested in residential societies. The survey, conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in three wards of Mumbai, was done on 6,936 people – 61 per cent of them slum-dwellers and the remaining 39 per cent in residential societies.

The survey also found that more women than men had developed antibodies. Among people in slums, 59.3 per cent of the2,297 women tested, and 53.2 per cent of the 1,937 men tested had antibodies against Covid. In non-slum areas, 16.8 per cent of women tested and 14.9 per cent of men tested had developed antibodies.

However, until now, RT-PCR tests in Mumbai had showed more men (55 per cent) getting infected than women (45 per cent).

03:46 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Mumbai: Bio-medical waste generation sees dip after 4 months

After an increase in the generation of bio-medical waste across the city over four straight months, the daily average in July fell by 38 per cent over the high of the previous month, going by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data.

So far this month, the civic body has collected a daily average of 13,700 kg bio-medical waste from Covid care centres and hospitals, a steep fall from the daily average of 22,023 kg in June. Till date in July, BMC has collected a total of 1.92 lakh kg of bio-medical waste. Read more here

03:34 (IST)29 Jul 2020
86,518 tests conducted per million; Aurangabad tests maximum per million people

With 86,518 tests conducted per million population, Aurangabad city is performing the maximum number of tests per million in Maharashtra.

The city, which has a population of 11.75 lakh as per the 2011 Census and a substantial number of industrial units, has relied heavily on antigen testing to screen those entering its limits and isolating them before the infection could spread. Till now, Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has conducted 1.03 lakh tests – 67,148 antigen tests and 34,907 RT-PCR tests.

The city has reported 9,827 Covid-19 cases, reflecting a 10 per cent positivity rate. On a daily basis, AMC is conducting around 5,250 tests. Of them, 5,000 are antigen tests. Read more here

03:00 (IST)29 Jul 2020
Mumbai: In a first, only 7.9% of those examined test positive in city

For the first time in over three months, only 7.9 per cent of those tested in Mumbai in a day were found to be Covid-19 positive.

Mumbai on Tuesday saw 8,776 people being tested, the highest number of tests conducted in the city in a single day so far. Of these, only 700 – 7.9 per cent of those who were tested – were found to be infected.

“Mumbai’s doubling rate (of cases) is now 68 days,” BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said. The city on Tuesday recorded 55 deaths due to Covid-19, taking its toll to 6,187. The total number of cases climbed to 1.10 lakh. Read more here

22:46 (IST)28 Jul 2020
1,209 cases, 53 deaths in Thane district on Tuesday

An addition of 1,209 cases on Tuesday took the COVID-19 count in Thane district to 81,250, while 53 deaths pushed up the toll to 2,242, an official said.

Kalyan reported the maximum 10 deaths during the day, while Navi Mumbai accounted for 320 of the new cases, followed by 207 for Kalyan, 191 for Thane and 156 for Mira Bhayander, he added.

"Thane district accounts for 21.17 per cent of COVID-19 cases and 16.14 per cent of deaths in Maharashtra. The recovery rate in the district is now 68.76 per cent while the mortality rate is 2.76 per cent," the official informed. Neighbouring Palghar reported 297 cases on Tuesday, taking its count to 14,398, while eight deaths took the toll to 275.

Maharashtra, Mumbai, Pune Coronavirus Live Updates: Medics wearing PPE rest during a COVID-19 check-up, at Malad in Mumbai. (PTI Photo)

Maharashtra Minister of state for environment and FDA Sanjay Bansode Sunday said he had been detected with Covid-19 and was receiving treatment at a private hospital in Mumbai, PTI reported. The minister said he was feeling unwell since Saturday and had mild fever and a sore throat. His test results came out on Sunday, he said.

Thane district's coronavirus tally reached 78,567 on Sunday, with an increase of 1,472 cases in the last 24 hours, while the death toll rose by 38 to touch 2,153, PTI quoted an official as saying.

Navi Mumbai reported the maximum number of new cases at 338, and accounted for the highest number of deaths at ten, the official further said. Neighbouring Palghar district has as many as 13,817 cases, with 265 deaths.

Pune city reported a rise of 1,921 new cases, while neighbouring Pimpri-Chinchwad registered 900 cases. While 28 deaths were reported from Pune, ten were recorded in Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Nashik division's Covid-19 tally reached 27,862, with around 1,065 deaths, while Kolhapur has reported 6,819 cases and 182 deaths so far.

A total of 334 people from other states are being treated in Maharashtra, while 46 such people died from the infection. As many as 9,08,420 people are home-quarantined, while 44,276 are in institutional quarantine, the health department said.