With 105 deaths, for the first time the Covid-19 toll crossed 100 in a single day in Maharashtra pushing the toll to 1,897 on Wednesday. With 2,190 new cases, Maharashtra’s total patient tally is 56,948. Mumbai crossed 34,000 cases on Wednesday with 1,044 new cases and has a death toll of 1,097.
Maharashtra is currently testing 3,142 people per million population. While the number is higher than the national average which stands at 2,363, it is still lagging behind Tamil Nadu which is testing 6,140 per million population, double than Maharashtra. In absolute numbers, Maharashtra has tested 4.03 lakh people and Tamil Nadu 4.43 lakh people. “Our daily sample collection has increased. From 8,000 every day until last week, it has now reached 11,000 per day. Maharashtra has been doing huge number of tests since first day. Tamil Nadu has recently scaled up its testing drive,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, state epidemiologist.
While 32 deaths were recorded in Mumbai, the death count in Jalgaon and Thane is also galloping ahead with 10 and 16 deaths recorded on Wednesday. Jalgaon’s death toll has reached 51 and Thane’s 73.
On Wednesday the state recorded other deaths in Pune (9), Navi Mumbai (7), Raigad (7), Akola (6), Aurangabad (4), Nashik (3), Solapur (3), Satara (2), and one each in Nagpur, Nandurbar, Panvel, and Vasai-Virar.
State officials said instead of 11.5 days it took for cases to double until last week, Maharashtra this week recorded doubling rate at 14.7. “The doubling rate is going to slow down because the base number is so huge,” a health official in Mumbai pointed out. In absolute numbers Maharashtra is recording over 2,000 new cases each day, as opposed to three digit growth until April.
Since Mumbai is a hotspot, it is now part of sero-surveillance study of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) that is spanned across 60 districts to study the presence of antibodies in blood of people. The surveillance will give an idea of prevalence of virus in the population.
BMC officials said the surveillance is being done on 500 people aged above 18 years in Kandivali East and West, Dharavi, and Kurla-Sakinaka stretch. “A medical officer and ICMR immune haematology team will randomly visit houses and after consent draw blood samples. The blood will be tested for antibodies against Sars-CoV-2,” an official said. State officials said while 1,897 deaths were labelled as Covid-19 deaths, in eight other deaths where patients had Covid-19 infection, the death primarily occurred due to other illness. Meanwhile the NSCI dome in Worli that is treating mild to moderately ill Covid-19 patients has also started admitting cancer patients who test positive so that their treatment goes hand in hand. According to Dr Muffazal Lakdawala , head the NSCI facility, 144 cancer patients have so far been admitted in Covid wards of NSCI.
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