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Maharashtra Coronavirus HIGHLIGHTS: With over 12,000 fresh cases, Fadnavis says Maharashtra has become COVID capital of India

A total of 6,844 patients were discharged from hospitals on Saturday, taking the number of recovered persons to 4,08,286.

Bhondwe said at least 25,000 mid-sector hospitals are on the verge of closure.

Maharashtra’s coronavirus case tally increased to 5,84,754 on Saturday with the addition of 12,614 new cases, the state health department said. With 322 COVID-19 patients dying during the day, the death toll due to the pandemic rose to 19,749, the department said. A total of 6,844 patients were discharged from hospitals on Saturday, taking the number of recovered persons to 4,08,286, it said in a statement.There are 1,56,409 active cases in the state at present, it added.

With the spread of Covid-19 to over 300 villages in Aurangabad district, state minister Subhash Desai has instructed the authorities to increase testing in rural areas. “At least 15 contacts of a positive patient should be traced. Besides, people should be tested before they enter villages,” Desai, who is also the district guardian minister, asked the officials to enhance contact tracing of patients, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

The number of coronavirus cases in Aurangabad district climbed to 18,259 after 292 persons tested positive on Friday, officials said. The death toll in the district went up to 576 after four patients succumbed to the infection, while 220 were discharged after recovery on Friday.

Ahead of the 10-day Ganesh festival beginning on August 22, private hospitals are appealing to staff nurses and healthcare staff not to take leave as ICU and isolation wards continue to remain full with Covid-19 patients.

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Maharashtra, Mumbai, Pune, Thane Coronavirus (Covid-19) News HIGHLIGHTS: 5.6 lakh cases; death rate of 3.4 per cent; 3.9 lakh recoveries. Get latest updates here.

21:52 (IST)15 Aug 2020
12,614 new coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, 322 deaths

Maharashtra's coronavirus case tally increased to 5,84,754 on Saturday with the addition of 12,614 new cases, the state health department said. With 322 COVID-19 patients dying during the day, the death toll due to the pandemic rose to 19,749, the department said. A total of 6,844 patients were discharged from hospitals on Saturday, taking the number of recovered persons to 4,08,286, it said in a statement.

21:51 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Maha has become COVID capital of India: Fadnavis

Citing the surge in COVID-19 cases and fatalities in Maharashtra, senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday termed the state as the "COVID capital" of the country. He stressed that testing need to be ramped up to check the spread of coronavirus and to bring the fatality rate under control. "We are not making any allegations. We are more interested in arresting the spread of Coronavirus than doing politics. I have been demanding that number of tests should be increased in the state," the former chief minister told reporters, after inaugurating a COVID care centre for journalists.

18:50 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Rise in COVID-19 cases in rural areas worrying: Health Minister

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday expressed concern over the rise in COVID-19 in rural areas of the state due to the influx of migrants from Mumbai. Speaking at an Independence Day function at the Collectorate, the minister said despite the rise in infections, the recovery rate in the state was high. While the COVID-19 tally in Jalna had reached 3,000, more than 2,000 patients had recovered from the infection, said Tope, who is also the guardian minister of the district. The minister noted that the spike in cases in rural parts of the state due to the return of migrants from Mumbai is a cause for concern.

18:47 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Maharashtra minister Balasaheb Patil tests positive for coronavirus

Maharashtra Cooperation Minister Balasaheb Patil has tested positive for coronavirus infection and is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Karad. According to a statement issued by Patil's office, the NCP leader tested positive for the infection on Friday night and has been admitted to Krushna Hospital in Karad. The minister is 'stable, is being treated properly and there is nothing to worry', the statement quoted Patil's son as saying. Patil, who is also the guardian minister of Satara, has urged people who had come in contact with him recently to get themselves tested and remain in isolation for at least a week, the statement said. Earlier, Maharashtra ministers Ashok Chavan and Aslam Shaikh of the Congress, Jitendra Awhad, Dhananjay Munde and Sanjay Bansode of the NCP and Abdul Sattar of the Shiv Sena had tested positive for the disease and recovered from it.

14:33 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Pune gets first govt-funded Biopharma Analysis Centre

Renu Swarup, secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) digitally launched the city’s first government-supported Centre for Biopharma Analysis (CBA) on Friday. The centre will offer analytical services to developers, manufactures and researchers involved in biopharmaceuticals. At a time when the attempts are underway worldwide to develop a vaccine against Covid-19, establishment of such a centre will benefit and fast track research under biopharma in the country, said Swarup. “We are facing an unprecedented situation due to Covid-19 pandemic and there cannot be a better time to launch such a facility. Biopharma will have a significant share of contribution in steering the country’s pharmaceutical industry in the future,” Swarup added.

13:36 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Maharashtra govt made 29.50 lakh farmers debt-free: Thackeray

The Maharashtra government has made around 29.50 lakh farmers in the state debt-free by depositing Rs 18,980 crore into their bank accounts, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Saturday. Thackeray was speaking after hoisting the national flag at Mantralaya (state secretariat) in south Mumbai on the occasion of 74th Independence Day. "Around 29.50 lakh farmers have been made debt-free by depositing Rs 18,980 crore into their bank accounts under the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Shetkari Karjmukti Yojana," he said in his speech.

12:35 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Pune: Rain hampers work, but officials hope ‘jumbo’ Covid facilities will be ready by Aug 19

As the local administration races against time to set up a temporary ‘jumbo’ facility for Covid-19 patients, their efforts have been hampered by the relentless rain that has battered Pune in the last few days. Authorities, however, are still hopeful of starting the facility by August 19. “The Work at the jumbo facility has been going on without a break, but the continuous rain this week has affected it. The soil at the designated site in College of Engineering Pune ground has become soggy and that’s causing problems… but we are hopeful of completing the work on time,” said Suhas Diwase, metropolitan commissioner of Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA). The PMRDA has been entrusted with the responsibility of setting up three jumbo facilities, two in the jurisdiction of Pune Municipal Corporation and one in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), which will have 800 beds each, including 600 oxygen beds and 200 ICU beds with ventilators.

12:29 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Aaditya Thackeray pledges support to 1,000 coaches

Mumbai District Football Association President Aaditya Thackeray has pledged to help 1,000 coaches who have been affected by the pandemic. "@AUThackeray pledges to support coaches across India. He handed over the first box of supplies to AIFC Director @DineshNair74. AIFC extends our gratitude towards him on behalf of all the coaches," the Association of Indian Football Coaches said in a tweet. In response, Aaditya said, "Happy to my bit @DineshNair74 for our coaches across."

12:23 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Pune: Liquid oxygen tank diverted from Aundh Civil Hospital to Sassoon General Hospital

Another 300 oxygenated beds are being set up Sassoon General Hospital at a cost of Rsv 3.5 crore, while the 11-storeyed super specialty building on the campus has a total of 514 operational beds. The Pune division administration is keen on setting up 800 to 850 beds at the largest government hospital in the state for Covid-19 patients. In the process, a liquid oxygen tank with a capacity of six kilolitre, meant for Aundh Civil Hospital, was redirected to Sassoon on priority so that oxygenated beds could soon be made operational. The tank is being installed at the Infosys super-specialty building on the campus, which houses neurosurgery, urosurgery, and other departments. At least 70 beds in this building will be used for Covid patients. Another tank of liquid oxygen with the same capacity will be set up near the paediatrics department, where 110 to 120 beds will be converted for Covid patients. Click here to read more.

12:20 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Pune admin decides: ‘No processions for Ganesh idol immersion this year’

The administration in Pune will not allow processions for idol immersion at the end of the 10-day Ganesh festival this year, so as to control the spread of Covid-19. While the outbreak has slowed down in the district, it still remains the worst-hit in the country. The annual festival will begin on August 22. At a Covid-19 review meeting in Pune, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar deliberated over the question with senior officials and elected representatives. It was decided that permission to conduct the immersion procession on Laxmi Road – as well as other smaller processions elsewhere in the district – could not be allowed.

11:07 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Increase coronavirus testing in rural parts: Maharashtra minister

With the spread of Covid-19 to over 300 villages in Aurangabad district, state minister Subhash Desai has instructed the authorities to increase testing in rural areas. “At least 15 contacts of a positive patient should be traced. Besides, people should be tested before they enter villages,” Desai, who is also the district guardian minister, asked the officials to enhance contact tracing of patients, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

20:53 (IST)14 Aug 2020
Thane city shops in non-hotspots can operate on all days: MC

Shops and business entities, barring malls and some other establishments, will be allowed to reopen outside COVID-19 hotspots in Thane city on all days from August 15, the local civic body has said. The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), in an order issued on Thursday evening, said the decision has been taken in view of demands from citizens and businessmen to allow normal public activities outside the designated COVID-19 hotspots. (PTI)

20:41 (IST)14 Aug 2020
Nagpur records highest single-day rise of 1,036 COVID-19 cases

Nagpur district of Maharashtra recorded its highest single-day spike of over 1,000 COVID-19 cases on Friday, a district official said. With the detection of 1,036 COVID-19 cases, the district's COVID-19 tally has reached 12,745, the official told PTI.

20:35 (IST)14 Aug 2020
Maha's COVID-19 case count rises by 12,608, death toll by 364

With a single-day rise of 12,608 cases on Friday, Maharashtra's COVID-19 count rose to 5,72,734, the state health department said. The death of 364 patients during the day pushed the fatality count to 19,427, it said in a statement. As many as 10,484 patients were discharged on Friday following their recovery, the department added. With this, a total of 4,01,442 COVID-19 patients have recovered in the state till now. (PTI)

15:39 (IST)14 Aug 2020
Wife of COVID-19 victim to get Rs 50 lakh insurance amount

The Maharashtra government Friday said that it will provide Rs 50 lakh insurance cover amount to the wife of a rural development officer in Parbhani district after he died of COVID-19 which contracted while on duty, a government resolution (GR) has said. The state government had last month decided to provide such cover till September-end to its staffers at gram panchayat and zilla parishads who are engaged in containing the coronavirus spread, PTI reported.

14:38 (IST)14 Aug 2020
Trains to Konkan for Ganpati festival; CR reiterates: Yet to receive a final go-ahead from state
"We will take a final decision on this in the next couple of days," State Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar told mediapersons on Thursday. (File)

A day after Transport Minister Anil Parab said that it is up to the Railways to start special trains within Maharashtra for Ganesh Chathurthi as the state government has already given an in-principle approval to it, the Central Railways (CR) on Thursday reiterated that it is yet to receive a final go ahead from the state.

“Central Railway wishes to inform the passengers that it is ready to run the specials, however, the final go ahead is yet to be confirmed by the state government of Maharashtra,” CR said in a statement on Thursday. It added that the Railways is ready to run the specials subject to all norms, including social distancing.

13:34 (IST)14 Aug 2020
Pune: Covid Care Centre set up in Chinchwad residential society
The society has converted three halls into an isolation centre for patients. (Representational)

Pune’s first Covid Care Centre in a residential housing society has come up in Chinchwad area. The 40-bed centre will admit patients with mild symptoms or those who are asymptomatic.

“It is the first Covid Care Centre in a residential society set up in Pimpri-Chinchwad as per the government’s guidelines. It is for the society members,” Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar told The Indian Express on Thursday.

The Covid Care Centre was inaugurated at Queens Town Society, which is located near Lokmanya Hospital in Chinchwad. It was inaugurated by PCMC Deputy Municipal Commissioner Ajit Pawar on Wednesday.

12:52 (IST)14 Aug 2020
Pune ZP, civic body face shortage of specialists; rope in additional staff to deal with rising Covid cases

WITH THE National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to super-specialty courses scheduled for September 15, recruiting specialist doctors, even on a contract basis for Covid care, has become a challenge. For instance, only six specialists sent in online applications as against 204 posts advertised by Pune Zilla Parishad.

Till Thursday afternoon, Pune recorded 1.15 lakh cases and 2,619 deaths. In rural areas, there are 254 deaths and cases touching 10,000. The ZP administration has issued a second advertisement to recruit 1,124 healthcare workers. Till August 16, online applications for 1,124 posts have been invited, out of which 256 are for doctors from Ayurveda Yoga Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH), 56 for dentists, 300 for staff nurses, 476 for auxiliary nurse midwives (ANM) for a period of three to six months, and another 32 for data entry operators. In the last round, officials said they were able to fill up 410 posts out of 1,489 posts advertised earlier.

12:20 (IST)14 Aug 2020
Decision on Maharashtra CET in next 8 days: Uday Samant

The Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (CET) cell is conducting a survey on the feasibility of conducting entrance tests across the state. An announcement in this regard is expected within a week, said State Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant, who was visiting Pune on Thursday.

“…An assessment is underway to see if exams can be conducted at the district level, keeping in mind physical distancing restrictions, or at the taluka level, if adequate infrastructure is available. A committee headed by Dr Abhay Wagh, director of technical education, and Dr Dhanraj Mane, director of higher education, has been constituted to conduct the survey and submit a report,” he said.

11:26 (IST)14 Aug 2020
Maharashtra, Delhi’s move to cancel exams void: UGC to Supreme Court

The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Thursday termed the decisions of the Maharashtra and Delhi governments to cancel final exams as “void ab initio”The UGC said this in reply to affidavits filed by the two governments in the Supreme Court, where petitions challenging the UGC’s direction to universities/institutions to hold the final exams by September-end are pending.

UGC said Delhi “has unilaterally chosen to cancel the final year / terminal semester examinations and graduate students using ‘alternative assessment measures’ in contravention of the UGC’s Guidelines…”. The decision “encroaches on the legislative field of coordinating and determining the standards of higher education that is exclusively reserved for Parliament…”, the affidavit added.

Maharashtra, Mumbai, Pune coronavirus Live updates: At least 11,813 new cases were recorded in the state on Thursday, of them 1,200 are from Mumbai and 1,148 from Pune city.

Maharashtra, Mumbai, Pune coronavirus Live updates:

Maharashtra officials said of the 413 deaths reported on Thursday, while 288 people had died in the last 48 hours, 74 had succumbed in the last one week and 51 prior to that. Of the 413 deaths, Pune recorded 48, followed by Kolhapur city and rural (36), Pune rural (25), Thane city and rural (21), Satara (20), Pimpri-Chinchwad (19), Kalyan-Dombivali (13), Jalgaon and Nagpur (12) and Vasai-Virar (10).

At least 11,813 new cases were recorded in the state on Thursday, of them 1,200 are from Mumbai and 1,148 from Pune city.

Meanwhile, with the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to super-specialty courses scheduled for September 15, recruiting specialist doctors, even on a contract basis for Covid care, has become a challenge. For instance, only six specialists sent in online applications as against 204 posts advertised by Pune Zilla Parishad.

Cannot let Jain temples open for festival in August owing to Covid-19: Maharashtra tells HC

The Maharashtra government Thursday told the Bombay High Court that it cannot allow Jain temples in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Pune to open for Paryushan from August 15 to 23. “If temples are allowed to open, there is an imminent danger of coronavirus that may result in loss of life,” the state government said.

The state’s response came after the high court Tuesday directed it to consider representations from the Jain community seeking permission to visit Jain temples during the eight-day Paryushan festival and submit its decision to the court by August 13.

On Thursday, a Division Bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and Madhav Jamdar was hearing two petitions filed by Ankit Vora and Shree Trustee Atma Kamal Labdhisurishwarji Jain Gyanmandir Trust. The petitioners sought a direction to the state government to allow the members of the community to visit Jain temples to perform prayers, more particularly during Paryushan.

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