Maharashtra Becomes First Indian State To Report One Lakh Covid-19 Cases
Maharashtra, with one of every three positive coronavirus cases in India, became the first state with more than 1 lakh infections.
The country’s richest state reported 3,493 new cases on Friday, taking the total tally to 1,01,141 cases, according to its public health department. This includes 47,796 recoveries and 3,717 patients who succumbed to the virus infection.
Over the past 24 hours, 1,718 patients recovered, while 127 died.
Maharashtra’s case count has been rising unabated despite its proactive contact tracing and testing mechanism. While the western state took 76 days to report its first 50,000 cases, the next 50,000 were added in just 20 days.
The state has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in India, and the most casualties.
In fact, had Maharashtra been a country, it would’ve been the third-most infected in Asia—behind only Iran and India itself.
The state’s total tally has already surpassed China—the country where the pandemic began—and other European nations like Portugal and Belgium that had seen an early surge but managed to flatten the virus curve.
That said, bulk of the cases in Maharashtra continue to emerge from Mumbai. The city contributes more than half of the total positives in the state.
With the state economy now reopening after a rigorous lockdown of over two months, authorities are preparing themselves for a spurt of cases. “We will have to be very careful as the coronavirus threat is not over yet,” Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said in a public broadcast on Thursday. “The state government is monitoring the situation closely.”
The chief minister reiterated that the state will have to learn to live with the virus as he demanded the central government to restart local trains and bus services, at least for movement of essential workers.
Like the rest of the country, Maharashtra, too, has continued to assert that there’s no community transmission. The state has conducted the highest number of Covid-19 tests in the country after Tamil Nadu.
Besides, Maharashtra has been aggressive in tapping private hospitals and laboratories for dealing with the outbreak. In May, the state had issued orders for regulating 80% of the beds in private hospitals and nursing homes. It capped treatment charges for these beds till the end of August.
The central government has suggested that the state carry out Covid-19 vulnerability mapping of densely populated areas so that effective containment strategies can be implemented.
The state will soon start India’s largest convalescent plasma therapy trials for severe Covid-19 patients after being permitted by the central drug authority. The trials, being done in a randomised control format, will be conducted at 21 government college hospitals across the state.