Over 10,000 new cases in Maharashtra

Maharashtra recorded 10,216 fresh Covid-19 cases on Friday after managing to keep the count below this mark for four months. The state had last crossed 10,000 cases on October 19, last year. With 21.98 lakh cases, Maharashtra accounts for 20 per cent of India’s Covid-19 burden.

The active case load stands at 88,838 – the cases doubling in a matter of just two weeks. Until February 18, there were over 40,000 active infections.

Despite rising cases, the number of deaths have halved from what the state was recording until last October, indicative of a declining fatality rate.

On Friday, 53 people died due to Covid-19, with the toll reaching 52,393 in the state. Amravati is accounting for maximum daily deaths, with eight fatalities reported on Friday. The district has reported 520 deaths, with 120 recorded in last one month alone.

Civil Surgeon Dr Shyamsunder Nikam said the fatality rate is still low as 16,000 new cases were detected in last one month, resulting in less than 1 per cent deaths.

Amravati remains a worrying factor for health officials. Of the 90 samples the district had sent for genome sequencing, officials said none had UK, Brazil or South African variant. The officials refused to elaborate which mutations were found in the samples. “Knowing about the virus will help plan and strategise. The cases in Vidarbha are shooting up significantly,” said Dr Subhash Salunkhe, advisor to state government.

On Friday, Amravati recorded 690 cases, while neighbouring Nagpur reported 1,521 cases. “The infectivity of the virus has increased in this part of the state. But even then, mask and quarantine norms are not being followed by many,” Nikam said.

Amravati has started registering FIRs against people violating Covid-19 norms. “One person violates isolation norms, the fine is Rs 25,000,” he said. With lockdown announced in the district and mass gatherings in marriages or social events prohibited, the number of cases have slowly started to come under control, Nikam added.

Meanwhile, Mumbai too continues to record over 1,000 cases daily. The city on Friday recorded 1,171 cases, crossing 9,000 active infections. Three deaths were reported by the health department. Mumbai has till now reported 3.31 lakh cases and 11,495 deaths.