By Quaid Najmi
Of these 5,537 deaths, 81 were recorded in the past 24 hours while 1,328 announced today were a reconciliation of the Covid-19 fatalities that occurred in the past few weeks.
The state also recorded 2,701 new patients adding to a total of 113,445 cases to date, and a recovery rate of 50.99 per cent.
After over a fortnight, Maharashtra’s day toll came down to double-digit figure with 81 deaths, down by 97 over yesterday’s highest 3-digit toll of 178, and also notched a drop in new cases by 85 from yesterday’s 2,786 to touch 2,701 today.
For most days in June, the state has been recording three-digit highs — 103 deaths (June 2), 122 (June 3), 123 (June 4), 139 (June 5) and 120 (June 6), 109 (June 8), 120 (June 9), 149 (June 10), 152 (June 11), 127 (June 12), 113 (June 13) 120 (June 14) 178 (June 15), and 1,409 (June 16) today.
This comes to roughly three deaths every 18 minutes, and a whopping 112 new cases notched every hour, in the state today.
With the revised total of 1,409 fatalities, the state death toll zoomed past 5K to touch 5,537 while the total number of Coronavirus patients rose from yesterday’s 110,744 to 113,445 today, both highest in the country.
The health department said of the total number of cases declared so far, 50,044 were ‘active cases’ today — down by 510 over yesterday’s 50,554.
Despite the gloomy data on the perpetually growing number of Covid-19 deaths and cases, the state continues to record an impressive recovery rate, standing today at 50.61 per cent.
However, the mortality (death) rate shot up sharply from yesterday’s 3.70 per cent to 4.08 per cent in view of the additional death toll included today.
Of the total 81 fatalities today, Mumbai notched 55 deaths — taking the city death toll up from yesterday’s 2,250 to 3,167 (including the reconciled data) now, while the number of Covid-19 positive patients here went up by 935 cases to touch 60,228 now.
Dharavi, Asia’s biggest slum, continued to show improvements with 21 new cases, taking the total to 2,089 cases and and the number of fatalities stable at 77.
Besides Mumbai’s 55 deaths, there were 23 fatalities in Thane (Mira-Bhayander, Bhiwandi, Kalyan-Dombivali), 9 in Pune, and 2 in Ahmednagar.
On the positive side, a total of 1,802 fully cured patients returned home today, taking the number of those discharged from 56,049 to 57,851 now.
The MMR (Thane Division) remains a jittery issue with a total of 3,967 Covid-19 deaths, and the number of positive cases touched 84,121 today.
Likewise, Thane – with 19,328 cases and 641 fatalities – has emerged to be the second worst-hit district after Mumbai.
Pune district has dropped to the third position with 12,888 patients and 588 deaths till now. Pune Division ranks second (after MMR) with 15,606 patients and 664 deaths.
The next major region of concern is Nashik Division with 368 deaths and 4,750 positive cases, followed by Aurangabad Division with 185 fatalities and 3,476 cases, and finally Akola Division with 95 deaths and 1,716 cases.
There’s Latur Division with 33 deaths and 657 cases, Kolhapur Division with 40 deaths and 1,589 patients, and finally Nagpur Division with 14 deaths and 1,360 cases.
State Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta and Health Secretary Pradeep Vyas, who announced the Covid-19 deaths reconciliation figures, said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had ordered last week to complete the process by June 15 after checking with all testing labs and district collectors.
“The state is fighting Covid-19 with absolute honesty and holds transparency sacred. Data reconciliation and tally will be done every few weeks to ensure complete transparency,” said the officials.
The development came a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging fudging of figures of deaths by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Fadnavis had accused the BMC of a ‘cover-up’ by suppressing around 950 deaths which was a gross violation of ICMR guidelines.
After the state government declared the latest reconciled figures, Fadnavis tweeted: “It is my sincere request to the state government that please don’t ignore this entire episode of criminal negligence in the name of reconciliation of numbers. These figures were suppressed for the last 3 months.”
Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home-quarantine decreased from yesterday’s 587,596 to 586,686 now, while those in institutional quarantine decreased from 28,084 to 27,242 today.
In another relieving news for patients, there are as many as 80,502 beds currently available in 1,543 institutions for Covid-19 related quarantine in the state on Monday.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: [email protected])