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Number of active Covid cases in Maharashtra drops by 55.6% in one month

Mumbai, Pune, Raigad, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Thane account for 82% of state’s active caseload; Gadchiroli, Nandurbar, Bhandara, Wasim on way to becoming Covid-free districts

Written by Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai |
Updated: November 7, 2021 8:25:50 am
Maharashtra covid19, maharashtra delta variant, maharashtra covid cases, Pune covid-19, Pune covid cases, Rajesh tope, Maharashtra health minister, indian express news, indian expressThe state’s peak active caseload – 698,354 – was recorded on April 25 this year. (Express photo by Amit Chakravarty)

In the last one month, the number of Covid-19 patients who are currently on treatment has dropped by 55.6%. Though Maharashtra has not witnessed any sudden surge in cases lately despite the progressive relaxations on restrictions, state health minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday said there can be no room for complacency.

On October 6, the state had 33,181 active Covid-19 patients, which dropped to 14,714 on November 6. The state’s peak active caseload – 698,354 – was recorded on April 25 this year.

As on November 6, six districts in Maharashtra — Mumbai (3,819), Pune (3,163), Raigad (693), Ahmednagar (2,079), Nashik (643) and Thane (1,632) — account for 82% of the state’s active Covid-19 caseload.

As many as 19 districts, especially those with high rural populations such as Dhule, Latur, Hingoli, Nanded, Amravati and Akola, among others, now have less than 50 active Covid-19 cases each. With only one to three active cases, Gadchiroli, Nandurbar, Bhandara and Wasim districts are inching closer to becoming Covid-free districts.

On Saturday, the state recorded 661 Covid-19 cases, the lowest daily count since April 2020.

Dr Rajesh Dere, in-charge of BKC jumbo centre where over 27,000 patients have been treated, said, “At present, we have around 27 patients. In the post-Covid Outpatient Department (OPD), we are getting around 50 patients daily.” The centre has treated around 10,000 recovered patients for post-Covid complications in its OPD amid the pandemic.

Tope attributed the drop in the number of active cases to development of “herd immunity”—a situation when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease, through natural infection and mass immunisation programmes.

“It has been nearly three months since the re-opening of malls, restaurants, bars, hotels among others but the infection rate has remained under control. The seven-day positivity rate in the state stands at 1.3%,” said Tope.

However, he also warned about a possible spike in cases post-Diwali. “Although, it is still not certain but the Covid task force has cautioned about it,” he said.

State surveillance officer Pradeep Awate said, “So far, there is no indication of a third wave. In the coming months, even if we record a third wave, it will mostly be a mild one, and won’t stretch the available health infrastructure as noticed in the first and second wave.”

Dr T Jacob John, a virologist and retired professor at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, believes that the worst for Maharashtra is over unless the new Delta subvariant, Ay.4.2, that has gained ground in the United Kingdom, spreads in India.

“With the opening of the international borders, it is essential to keep a close eye on the variants. Already Ay.4.2 variants that are predominantly UK lineage have also been identified in Russia and Israel, among others,” he said.

According to a weekly report by the India SARS-CoV-2 Genome Consortium (INSACOG), the variant, AY4.2 is “very infrequent” in India.

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