Nine districts have shown a rise in active case load even as the state’s overall number of active infections has dipped. The recent trend indicates that the threat virus poses has not dissipated yet.
Maharashtra reached 18.83 lakh Covid-19 cases on Monday with 2,949 new cases. Of them, 477 were in Mumbai. The state’s death toll climbed to 48,269 with 60 more deaths due to Covid-19 recorded on Monday. Mumbai’s death toll on Monday was seven.
Since Diwali, however, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Washim, Pune, Kolhapur, Nashik, Nandurbar, Akola, and Nagpur have seen a rise in active infections. Percentage wise, Washim, Sindhudurg, Kolhapur, Akola and Nagpur have seen a jump in active infections by 40 per cent or more. State officials are closely monitoring these districts.
State officials said the rise in certain other districts may be due to increased mobility during festivals or because some of these districts started recording Covid-19 cases much later than others.
“We cannot paint the entire state with the same brush. Districts are showing different trends. In districts where infection came later, the case load is relatively higher. In some districts like Pune, Mumbai and Nagpur, the curve is flattening to show a plateau in infectivity rate. Wherever there is a plateau, a significant population has already been exposed to the virus,” said Dr Subhash Salunkhe, technical advisor to the state government on Covid-19. Salunkhe added that while viral transmission continues in Maharashtra, the situation is not as bad as in north India, especially Delhi, which is recording a spike.
In last month, Maharashtra’s overall infections dipped by 15.3 per cent to 72,383 cases on Monday. Mumbai is seeing fluctuations in Covid-19 cases since a month with its active case load hovering around 13,000.
In contrast to these nine districts, Sangli, Ahmednagar, Dhule, Aurangabad, Parbhani, Hingoli, Nanded, Gondia, and Chandrapur have noted a significant drop in active case load. But Salunkhe said Chandrapur, Parbhani, Hingoli and Gondia continue to remain at risk because only a small population in these districts have so far been exposed to the virus. The state health department anticipates a second wave of coronavirus in December or by January. The department has insisted on continuing 80 per cent reservation of beds in private hospitals to deal with districts where active cases continue to increase. A meeting on the same was scheduled on Monday but postponed due to the Assembly session.
The notification to preserve 80 per cent beds in hospitals is valid until December 15. “We are prepared for extension for a few more days until the final meeting to decide reservation happens,” said Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant physician with Bombay hospitals. Several private hospitals have alleged huge financial losses due to reservation and price capping and demanded to admit their own patients. State officials fear if a second wave surges and bed reservation clause is revoked, patients may find treatment cost difficult to afford.
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