THE DECLINING trend in daily Covid-19 cases continued as Maharashtra recorded 5,246 positive cases on Thursday, much lower than Delhi’s daily record. Mumbai recorded 841 new cases, with active caseload down to 16,116, which is one-sixth of the state’s active caseload.
Even as the decline in new cases has eased the load on government hospitals, the state health department is bracing for a second possible spike after the festival season and the onset of winter in December, or January 2021.
The first peak in the state passed in mid-September when over 24,000 cases were being reported daily. Since then, cases are declining, down to 5,000 to 6,000 now.
On Thursday, the state reported 117 deaths, taking death toll to 44,804. Mumbai accounted for 25 deaths, lowest in the last two months after Tuesday when 15 deaths were reported. The city’s death toll now stands at 10,377. The number of critical patients has also dipped below 1,000. Civic officials said there were over 11,000 vacant isolation beds in the city and only 7,104 occupied.
Apart from Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune are also recording a gradual decline in fresh cases. Nagpur recorded 313 new cases and only two deaths, while Pune recorded 235 cases with five deaths due to Covid-19.
While cases are reducing at an encouraging rate since the end of September, a combination of winter and phased unlocking of economic activity might lead to another spike in the coming months.
On Thursday, the state government allowed cinema halls and theatres to reopen along with swimming pools for professional athletes. Restaurants have also regained usual crowd over the weekends now.
The public health department has informed all districts to prepare for isolation beds before December when a second wave may come. “We have analysed the Covid peak of individual districts and added 10 per cent cases to it as an estimate of a new peak. We have asked district officials to prepare for isolation beds accordingly,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, state epidemiologist.
The state’s positivity rate on Thursday stood at 8.1 per cent, down from 24 per cent until September.
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