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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Maharashtra Coronavirus Highlights: State has over one-fourth of India’s Covid-19 cases

As the pandemic moves away from Maharashtra's urban centres, rural areas are struggling to cope as cases surge.

By: Express Web Desk | Mumbai, Pune | Updated: September 24, 2020 10:46:01 am
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Maharashtra detected 18,390 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, taking its tally to 12,42,770. An additional 392 people succumbed to the disease; the toll now stands at 33,407. Of the state’s total Covid-19 cases, 2,72,410 patients are under treatment, while 9,36,554 have recovered. With 1,628 Covid-19 cases and 50 deaths on the same day, Mumbai’s tally rose to 1,87,904 with 8,555 fatalities. Pune added 1,414 cases, taking its count to 1,44,265. With 42 deaths, Pune’s toll increased to 3,303.

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As the pandemic moves away from Maharashtra’s urban centres, rural areas are struggling to cope as cases surge. At 4.02 lakh cases, rural regions now make up 34.4 per cent of the state’s numbers. Hospitals and healthcare centres are lacking facilities like ICU beds and oxygen beds to treat patients.

Meanwhile, India’s total caseload crossed 56 lakh on Wednesday after the country detected 83,347 new cases. The death toll rose to 90,020 after 1,085 people succumbed to the disease. The fatality rate is now 1.59 per cent. Over 45 lakh have recovered, taking the recovery rate to 81.25 per cent. More than 9.68 lakh patients are being treated for the disease, which is 17.15 per cent of the caseload.

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12.42 lakh Covid-19 cases, 33,407 deaths across state; rural areas struggle to cope with pandemic; heavy rains likely in Mumbai, Thane today.

21:25 (IST)23 Sep 2020
MoS Railways Suresh Angadi dies of Covid-19

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi passed away Wednesday at AIIMS in New Delhi. Angadi was undergoing treatment for Covid-19. He was 65. Angadi had tested positive for novel coronavirus on September 14 ahead of the commencement of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament. 

Suresh Angadi

18:26 (IST)23 Sep 2020
14 states, UTs have lower positivity rate than national average, says Centre

Centre on Wednesday said that 14 states and Union Territories, including Gujarat, Odisha, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Assam, Haryana and Tripura, have demonstrated better COVID-19 response with higher tests per million and commensurate lower positivity rate than the national average.

Health Ministry also said that India's total tests for detection of Covid-19 has reached over 6.6 crore and tests per million have risen to 48,028 as on date with the national cumulative positivity rate being recorded at 8.52 per cent.

The country's testing capacity has surged to more than 12 lakh tests daily, it said. Up to September 22, a total of 6,62,79,462 samples have been tested with 9,53,683 samples being tested on Tuesday, PTI reported.

18:25 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Dharavi's covid-tally rises to 3,087

With 22 new COVID-19 cases, Dharavi's total tally rises to 3,087, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said on Wednesday.

13:00 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Bharat Biotech to manufacture a billion doses of nasal spray Covid-19 vaccine

Hyderabad-headquartered Bharat Biotech on Wednesday announced it would be manufacturing up to a billion doses of a single-dose intranasal Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri. The agreement is expected to help overcome potential difficulties with distributing the vaccine, like the high cost of vaccination or a possible shortage of personnel to administer the doses to the required population. The company, which has entered into a licensing agreement with the university for the novel chimp-adenovirus candidate, owns the rights to distribute it “in all markets” except the United States, Japan, and Europe. Read Prabha Raghavan's report

12:35 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Thane coronavirus news: 1.61 lakh cases now, over 4,200 deaths

Thane's Covid-19 tally increased by 1,406 on Tuesday to reach 1,61,659. The death toll in the district crossed 4,200 after 33 patients succumbed to the disease. Kalyan has the most cases (39,468) in the district, followed Navi Mumbai (33,755) and Thane (33,525), reported news agency PTI.

10:09 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Heavy rains lash Mumbai, IMD sounds orange alert

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an orange alert in Mumbai and Thane Wednesday, warning of very heavy rains. Overnight rains in Mumbai has left several parts of the city waterlogged. According to the IMD, the rainfall received in the 24 hours ending 8.30 am Wednesday was recorded at 286.4mm in Santacruz, 147.8mm in Colaba, 119.8mm in Thane, 39.5mm in Ratnagiri and 42.1mm in Dhanu. The weather department said intense to very intense rainfall would continue in the city till around noon. Follow Mumbai rains, weather forecast Live Updates

08:54 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Maharashtra coronavirus news: State Covid-19 tally at 12.42 lakh, 33,407 deaths

Maharashtra detected 18,390 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, taking its tally to 12,42,770. An additional 392 people succumbed to the disease; the toll now stands at 33,407. Of the state’s total Covid-19 cases, 2,72,410 patients are under treatment, while 9,36,554 have recovered.

19:18 (IST)22 Sep 2020
Bed capacity in Aurangabad hospital to be upped by 300

Considering the rise in COVID-19 cases, the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Maharashtra's Aurangabad city plans to increase its bed capacity by 300 beds in one month, an official said on Tuesday.

The institution has been treating COVID-19 patients who are referred from other districts as well and currently has 78 intensive care unit and 456 oxygen-equipped beds, GMCH dean Dr Kanan Yelikar said.

By the end of the month, 20 more ICU beds and 54 additional oxygen-equipped beds will be put up in the first phase, she said.

There are plans to expand the COVID-19 services to the surgical department building, where at least 200 to 300 beds with oxygen can be accommodated, Dr Yelikar said. (PTI)

18:09 (IST)22 Sep 2020
Aurangabad reports 317 new COVID cases, 13 deaths

The number of COVID-19 cases in Aurangabad in Maharashtra reached 31,085 after 317 cases were detected in the last 24 hours, while 13 deaths during this period took the toll to 879, PTI quoted an official as saying. A total of 24,286 people have been discharged so far, including 301 in the last 24 hours, leaving the district with 5,920 active cases, he added.

17:07 (IST)22 Sep 2020
Hike in testing helps early detection, hospitalisation of COVID patients: Health Ministry

Health Ministry says early detection, isolation, seamless hospitalisation of COVID patients made possible due to exponential hike in testing infrastructure.

16:43 (IST)22 Sep 2020
India has highest number COVID-19 recovery cases in world: Health Ministry

Health Ministry says India's COVID-19 cases share is 17.7 per cent of global infections, while those who have recuperated are 19.5 per cent of total recoveries in world. India has highest number of recovered cases of COVID-19 in world at 44,97,867, the ministry added.

16:43 (IST)22 Sep 2020
Daily recoveries exceeding new cases in last 4 days, says Health Ministry

Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union Health Ministry: "In the last four days, the daily recoveries have exceeded the new cases being reported."

"We get swayed by the narrative that India has over 50 lakh cases, but we forget that nearly 45 lakh people have already recovered."

14:48 (IST)22 Sep 2020
Actor Zarina Wahab discharged from hospital after testing positive for COVID-19

Veteran actor Zarina Wahab was discharged from a city hospital on Sunday, five days after she tested positive for coronavirus, according to Dr Jalil Parkar.

The 61-year-old actor, best known for films "Chitchor", "Gharonda", "My Name is Khan" and "Dil Dhadakne Do", was admitted to Lilavati Hospital last week after complaints of fever and breathlessness.

"She was admitted last week, around September 14-15. She was COVID-19 positive. She had fever, breathlessness. I gave her all the treatment and after five days she became well and went home. She was discharged on Sunday," Dr Jalil Parkar, who treated Wahab, told PTI.

When asked if the actor had tested negative for the virus, Parkar said doctors can discharge patients if they're recovering from COVID-19. (PTI)

14:44 (IST)22 Sep 2020
Pune: Mental health institute helps over 200 patients, staff recover from Covid-19

The Chaitanya Institute of Mental Health has opened after being closed for several months due to Covid-19. More than 200 patients, including staff, had tested Covid-19 positive at the institute. “At least 70 patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were infected with Covid-19 and Dr Imran Shaikh and his wife, Sapna Shaikh, a psychiatrist with the team, took up the challenge to look after them,” Ronny George, founder of the institute working in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation, told The Indian Express.

“It was a devastating experience as about 50 per cent patients in the dementia care unit were affected by Covid-19,” he added.

14:34 (IST)22 Sep 2020
Four MNS leaders arrested for defying Covid-19 norms

The railway police arrested four leaders of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), including party general secretary Sandeep Deshpande, for defying Covid-19 orders. They had held a savinay kaydebhang (civil disobedience) protest on Monday, during which they boarded local trains demanding services be made available to ordinary people. Services are currently only available for people involved in essential services and government employees.

A case has been registered against the four leaders under IPC Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), and the Disaster Management Act, the Indian Railways Act and other Covid-19 prevention measures of Maharashtra.

13:26 (IST)22 Sep 2020
India coronavirus numbers explained, Sept 22: Steady rise in recoveries, over 1.01 lakh Covid-19 patients cured on Monday
Daily new Covid-19 cases and recoveries in September.

While the daily new detection of novel coronavirus cases has been hovering around the one lakh mark for the last two weeks, it is the number of recoveries that has actually crossed that figure now.

On Monday, more than 1.01 lakh Covid-19 patients were declared to have recovered from the disease, while the daily new detection fell sharply to 75,000. It is not unusual for the new cases to fall on a Monday. It is the result of the reduced number of tests that are carried out on a Sunday. This Sunday, the number of tests had gone down steeply. Only about 7.3 lakh samples were tested against the normal of about 11 to 12 lakh samples on other days.

But the recoveries have been showing a steady rise in the last few days, unaffected by the fluctuations in the detection of new cases. Usually, the number of recoveries tail the discovery of new cases by two weeks. That’s the normal recovery time for an infected person. But for several days now, the recoveries have been much more than new cases, possibly because some unaccounted recoveries from previous days are getting added up in the data being released by the state governments.

12:44 (IST)22 Sep 2020
Mumbai: Two cops succumb to Covid

Two policemen posted in Navi Mumbai succumbed to Covid-19 on Monday, taking the death toll in the Maharashtra Police to 224. The deceased have been identified as Vinod Pasatkar (46) and Shantilal Koli (55). So far, nine Navi Mumbai police personnel have died after contracting the virus.

Constable Pasatkar was posted at the city police headquarters in Belapur and was admitted to the D Y Patil Hospital on September 7 after testing positive. An officer said Pasatkar was placed on ventilator support on Friday after his health deteriorated. His colleague, Koli, posted as an ASI at NRI police station, had also been battling the infection in hospital for the past week.

12:13 (IST)22 Sep 2020
IMD predicts heavy rain today for Mumbai, Thane
Moderate to a few intense spells, accompanied by thunderstorm and lightning, hit parts of Mumbai and neighbouring areas on Monday evening.

Mumbai and Thane are likely to receive heavy rain on Tuesday with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing a red alert with a forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall (between 64 mm to 204.4 mm in 24 hours) at isolated places.

The intensity of the rain is likely to reduce from Wednesday, with the weather bureau issuing a yellow alert for Mumbai.

Moderate to a few intense spells, accompanied by thunderstorm and lightning, hit parts of Mumbai and neighbouring areas on Monday evening. Between 5 pm and 7 pm, Bandra recorded 20.2 mm, Santacruz 16.6 mm, Ram Mandir 28.5 mm and Thane and Kalyan between 40 mm to 70 mm of rainfall.

11:30 (IST)22 Sep 2020
Covid patients: After doctors object, Maharashtra govt withdraws limit on oxygen use
Oxygen cylinders for Beed Civil Hospital. (File)

Three days after the state health secretary wrote to all districts to judiciously use medical oxygen and hinted at possible pilferage, an uproar from the medical community forced the Maharashtra government to issue a clarification on Monday stating “there is no intention of state government to ration/ restrict consumption of oxygen by any patient”.

“Each patient should receive oxygen in the manner and to the level as may be necessary for full and speedy recovery,” the letter on Monday by Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said.

The state government was forced to issue a clarification after private doctors questioned its allegations of excessive oxygen usage and said a treating doctor has the right to decide the quantity of oxygen required for a patient. The government on Monday asked hospitals to work on minimising oxygen wastage until central guidelines on oxygen are issued. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare conducted a meeting in New Delhi on Monday to formulate protocol on consumption and use of medical oxygen. The guidelines are expected soon.

11:12 (IST)22 Sep 2020
Maharashtra: RT-PCR tests close to total capacity, districts may have to rely on antigen kits
A shortage of testing kits has also put pressure on RT-PCR tests in multiple districts. (Representational)

Districts will soon have to rely more on rapid antigen tests as state laboratories inch close to the total capacity mark for real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests and cases continue to surge in state. Presently the state conducts on an average 50,000 RT-PCR tests, it has a total capacity of handling around 80,000 of these tests each day.

Currently, of daily 90,000 tests Maharashtra is conducting, RT-PCR contributes to two-third (50,000) and rapid antigen tests accounts for one-third. State plans to notch up from 90,000 to 1.50 lakh tests per day in a few days. For that, half of tests will have to be rapid antigen as capacity for RT-PCR is 80,000 in 166 laboratories.

A shortage of testing kits has also put pressure on RT-PCR tests in multiple districts. In Beed, which can test 1,200 samples each day, a shortage of kits has forced the district to test only 200 samples per day and rely on rapid antigen for remaining samples. “The shortage has been since the last 20 days. ICMR is slowly stopping supply of kits, and the state is procuring on its own. We have asked state authority for kits,” a district health official said.

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Currently, of daily 90,000 tests Maharashtra is conducting, RT-PCR contributes to two-third (50,000) and rapid antigen tests accounts for one-third. State plans to notch up from 90,000 to 1.50 lakh tests per day in a few days. For that, half of tests will have to be rapid antigen as capacity for RT-PCR is 80,000 in 166 laboratories.

A shortage of testing kits has also put pressure on RT-PCR tests in multiple districts. In Beed, which can test 1,200 samples each day, a shortage of kits has forced the district to test only 200 samples per day and rely on rapid antigen for remaining samples. “The shortage has been since the last 20 days. ICMR is slowly stopping supply of kits, and the state is procuring on its own. We have asked state authority for kits,” a district health official said.

Medical Education Secretary Saurabh Vijay, however, said the state has stock for a month. “There is no shortage of testing kits. If a district exceeds its capacity, samples can be sent to the adjoining district. We have asked labs to have a turn around time of 24 hours for the report,” he said.

RT-PCR is considered the gold standard for Covid-19 testing, while antigen test has more scope for false negatives even if a person is Covid-19 positive. If a symptomatic person tests negative for Covid-19 through rapid antigen, a RT-PCR is recommended but in several cases a second test is not conducted. Inspired by Karnataka, the public health department has issued a notification to take two swabs instead of one from symptomatic patients, and process it for RT-PCR immediately if the antigen test comes negative.