A health worker takes a swab sample of a resident in Goregaon on Wednesday.
(Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)
Maharashtra reported fewer than 5,000 Covid-19 cases for the fifth consecutive day, taking the state’s tally to 1,864,348, with 4,981 fresh infections recorded on Wednesday. The number of active cases in the state dropped to 73,166, which is 3.92% of the total infections. The state also reported 75 fatalities, pushing up its toll to 47,902. However, of the 75 deaths, 63 were from the past 48 hours and 12 from last week, according to the state health department.
The state authorities had expected a surge in Covid-19 cases after Diwali, but the number of daily infections hasn’t witnessed a massive spike.
Between December 1 and 9, the state reported 42,202 cases against 42,393 cases during the same period in November, while the fatalities reduced to 751 in the first nine days of this month, from 1,000 during the corresponding period last month.
Dr Subhash Salunkhe, chairman of communicable diseases prevention control and technical committee of the state, said Maharashtra has hit the plateau [of Covid-19 infections] and the situation will be much better by March if the trend continues.
He, however, said it is essential for citizens to follow “Covid-appropriate behaviour”.
“Crowding at public places during Diwali led to a rise in fresh infections, but it was not as high as witnessed in north India, especially in Delhi, and definitely not as intense as seen in Europe and the US. This is a very positive sign and if the plateau continues and cases decline by January, we will head towards a positive epidemiological situation. By March, we will be in a much better position then,” Salunkhe said.
However, officials aren’t being complacent and the state has already directed local authorities to be vigilant and prepared for a possible second wave outbreak in January.
Salunkhe said people “should not lower their guards” as the possibility of a surge in January can’t be ruled out. “Although it doesn’t seem to be happening based on the current trend, the possibility of a surge in January can’t be ruled out. People must follow all health protocols rigorously,” he said.
Mumbai, meanwhile, continued to record the maximum cases in Maharashtra, with 716 infections reported on Wednesday. The city’s tally stands at 287,898, of which 12,168 are active cases. Mumbai’s toll rose to 10,929, with 15 deaths reported on Wednesday.