By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, May 15 (IANS) There was no let-up in the Covid-19 grip over Maharashtra on Friday as the state recorded the second-highest figures of 44 deaths and 1,576 new cases in a day, while Mumbai notched 933 new cases, state health officials said here.
With 49 fatalities – down marginally from Wednesday’s highest 54 – the state’s death toll shot up to 1,068 and the total number of coronavirus patients increased from 27,524 on Thursday to 29,100 on Friday, after the steepest jump of 1,602 recorded on May 14.
Of the new deaths, 34 were recorded only in Mumbai, taking up the city’s toll from Thursday’s 621 to 655 and the number of positive patients in the city shot up to 17,671.
Mumbai’s Dharavi slum continued to be a major hot spot and a headache for the health authorities, notching 84 new cases, taking the total number of its patients to 1,145, and 53 deaths till now.
Besides Mumbai’s 34, there were 6 deaths in Pune, 2 each in Akola, Kalyan-Dombivali (Thane) and Dhule, and one each in Jalgaon, Aurangabad and Raigad.
They comprised 29 men and 20 women, and nearly 65 per cent of them suffered from other serious ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, heart problems and asthma.
On the positive side, 505 more fully cured patients returned home, taking the number of those discharged to 6,564 till date.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting with the ruling ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to hammer out the nitty-gritties of the anticipated extension of the lockdown from May 18 in the state.
The Industry Minister announced that so far the state has permitted 66,953 units to resume operations, of which 38,287 have already started with over 10.66 lakh employees reporting for duties.
With the expected mega-spike in cases during the next few days, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is making all efforts to augment the number of Covid-19 beds of different categories around the city, including three jumbo facilities.
Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, different ministers, and civic and state officials inspected the three such mega facilities of 1,000-beds each in Goregaon, Bandra Kurla Complex, and National Sports Club of India in Mahalaxmi set up by the BMC.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (Thane Division) continued to cause huge concerns with 718 Covid-19 deaths and cases shooting beyond 21,925, with Thane district notching 38 deaths, Palghar 13 and Raigad 12 fatalities so far.
Though trailing a distant second after Mumbai, Pune division fatalities crossed the 200-mark to touch 204 fatalities, besides 3,972 patients.
The next major area of concern is Nashik division with 74 deaths and 1,238 positive cases, followed by Akola division with 28 deaths and 452 cases, and finally Aurangabad with 21 fatalities and 871 patients.
There’s also Kolhapur division with 5 deaths and 162 patients, Latur division with 5 fatalities and 96 cases, and finally Nagpur division with 3 deaths and 343 patients.
Meanwhile, the number of people shunted in home quarantine increased from 315,686 to 329,302 and those in institutional quarantine went up from 15,465 to 16,306, while the state’s containment zones came down from 1,512 to 1,473 on Friday.
As many as 14,167 teams have carried out a health survey of around 59 lakh persons in the state till date.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at [email protected])