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Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope announces health insurance for all, Covid cases touch 12,296

As cases continue to surge and number of patients requiring hospitalisation increases, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said all families in the state will be covered under Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana's (MJPJAY) medical insurance cover up to Rs 1.5 lakh.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala , Laxman Singh | Mumbai | Updated: May 3, 2020 3:56:23 am
coronavirus, coronavirus cases in maharashtra, mahrashtra health minister, rajesh tope, medical cover for all in maharashtra coronavirus cases toll in maharashtra, coronavirus deaths in maharashtra, indian express news Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope (File)

MAHARASHTRA RECORDED the highest single day jump in its toll with 36 deaths due to coronavius (COVID-19) on Saturday. The toll crossed 500, touching 521. Across the state, 790 new cases were recorded. Mumbai recorded 547 fresh cases and 28 deaths, its highest number of deaths in a single day taking the count in the city to 322.

The total patient count in the state now stands at 12,296 with Mumbai reporting 8,359 cases. As cases continue to surge and number of patients requiring hospitalisation increases, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said all families in the state will be covered under Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana’s (MJPJAY) medical insurance cover up to Rs 1.5 lakh.

“We have 1,000 hospitals empanelled under us. Any patient visiting these hospitals for surgeries listed under the insurance scheme will be treated cashless,” Tope told The Indian Express.

The MJPJAY is a state-run insurance scheme that covers 2.25 crore families and provides medical cover of Rs 1.5 lakh. In its tender last year, the state government increased hospitals empanelled under the scheme from 492 to 1,000 and total procedures that patients can avail from 971 to 1,096. Tope said about 25 lakh more families are now included under the insurance scheme in addition to 2.25 crore.

“We had already covered about 85 per cent of Maharashtra’s population under the scheme. Now remaining 15 per cent is also covered,” he said. With several private hospitals operating on skeletal basis, the health minister said district collectors have been instructed to take action against hospitals that refuse to treat patients.

“There are still issues with some private hospitals in red zone districts. It is difficult for them to function normally. But collectors will ensure these hospitals open up,” Tope said. Across the state, there are 844 containment areas where movement has been restricted completely.

Of 36 deaths reported in the state, 28 were in Mumbai, including one of a West Bengal resident. Three deaths were recorded in Pune, three in Amravati, and one each in Vasai and Auranagabad. At least 70 per cent of them had comorbidities leading to health complications after they got the infection.

On Saturday, the count of those discharged had touched 2,000. The rate of those recovering and being discharged improved from 14 per cent until last week to 16 per cent on Saturday. The total number of people discharged in Mumbai are 1,704, 85 per cent of the total discharged in the state.

As many as 56 coronavirus patients, including a three-year-old girl, were discharged after recovery at the same time from a civic-run hospital in Mira-Bhayandar township in Thane district after recovery, an official said.

In Mumbai, at least 481 people with suspected symptoms were admitted on Saturday. The city’s toll has touched 322. India’s largest slum Dharavi saw the highest single-day jump with 89 fresh cases on Saturday. Dharavi now has 496 positive cases. Officials from the BMC said in the last six days, Dharavi recorded a significant 221 cases.

They also said the rise in number of cases is because of active screening of people through fever clinics and extensive contact tracing of positive patients. The BMC is facing a challenge in the slum due to its dense population. Anticipating the rise in number of cases, the central government committee, which visited Dharavi, has suggested ramping up quarantine facilities. Civic officials said about 79,000 people have been screened at Dharavi, of which 2,500 people were screened this week. Of this, 1,920 were suspected to be positive and have been referred to institutional quarantine where they are also being tested.

Pune toll crosses 100

The death toll in Pune district crossed 100 on Saturday. With four more deaths reported from the district, the toll is 103 now. Two of the deaths took place on Friday, but the reports confirming the virus came on Saturday.

A total of 97 fresh cases were reported on Saturday and the number of patients with the infection has gone up to 1,912.

‘Be positive, build your immunity’

‘Be positive, build your immunity and stay active’: this is the advice from a 52-year-old senior doctor at BJ Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, who has recovered from COVID-19 and was discharged on Saturday. He was among the first physicians to have been detected with the virus, along with three other nurses, at Sassoon Hospital. All of them have recovered and been discharged, said hospital authorities.

Amravati toll at 10

The toll in Amravati district has gone up to 10, with two deaths on April 27 and 30, reports of which were received days after the deaths.

While one of the patients, a 55-year old man, died at home in the containment zone of Haiderpura on April 27, the other, a 50-year old man from Shirala village, died in Amravati Super Specialty Hospital on April 30, a day after he was admitted. While the report of the man from Haiderpura was received two days later, the Shirala villager’s report came on Saturday.

Eight of the 10 deaths in the distinct have happened at home and one at a private hospital and one in a government hospital. “The deceased didn’t reveal their illnesses to our survey teams. So we came to know about them only after we tested their samples,” said Amravati Civil Surgeon Shyamsundar Nikam.

The district’s cumulative positive case tally has risen to 53. With 10 deaths and four discharged patients, the district now has 39 active cases. The district had less than 15 cases about a week ago.

Asked why Amravati still continued to be in the ‘orange’ zone, Divisional Commissioner Piyush Singh said, “About a week ago, the district had less than 15 cases. So the orange zone tag was an assessment based on that. Next Monday, it will be revised to red zone. But we are already treating the district as red zone.”

Amravati’s death sequence had begun on April 4. But for a long time there were no casualties. On April 20, two deaths were reported. Next five deaths happened five days in a row and the last on April 30.

Vidarbha’s overall toll now stands at 15. Nagpur has two, Akola two (including a suicide) and Buldana has one death. There were no fresh cases reported from Yavatmal on Saturday. The tally of cumulative and active in the district is 90 and 80, respectively. Yavatmal is the second-most affected district in Vidarbha after Nagpur. Buldana, too, reported no new cases. Akola has 40 cumulative and 37 active cases. Nagpur continues to lead in Vidarbha with 150 cumulative and 102 active cases. The city has had two deaths so far.

Chandrapur recorded its first case late on Saturday with a 50-year old man from Krishna Nagar locality testing positive. This was informed by Collector Kunal Khemnar. The administration is sealing the area and is tracing the man’s contacts.

Now, only Gadchiroli and Wardha are coronavirus-free districts in Vidarbha.

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