Mumbai: Maharashtra has the highest number of COVID-19 positive patients in the country. On Sunday, May 24, the number of positive cases crossed the 50,000 mark, with 30,000 in India's financial capital, Mumbai, alone. The death toll in the state is 1,635 with 58 deaths on Sunday.
The first patient of coronavirus in Maharashtra was reported on March 9. The state crossed 1,000 -mark on April 1. On April 21, it crossed 5,000 patients and within nine days, on April 30, the number doubled to 10,000 By May 9, the number grew to 20,000, by May 16 it was 30,000, then 40,000 by May 21 and now on May 24, it has crossed 50,000.
Since May 14, the state has been continuously witnessing more than 1,400 patients per day.
The death toll in Maharashtra is also around 60 a day for the last almost a week. On May 16, there were 67 deaths in single day for the first time. On May 17 - 63 deaths, May 18 - 51 deaths, May 19 - 76 deaths, May 20 – 65 deaths, and May 21 - 64 deaths.
Mumbai has been the epicentre of COVID-19. Till now, there have been 988 deaths and 30,542 total number of patients in the city. This is followed by Pune with 263 deaths and 5,682 patients. Nagpur has seen seven deaths and 471 patients, Jalgaon 41 deaths and 411 patients, Solapur has seen 41 deaths and 601 patients.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray claimed on Sunday that the “crisis in Maharashtra is not as alarming as Centre is trying to project.”
In his address to the state, the chief minister said that the crucial period was yet to come. "We need to take precautions as monsoon will likely to start in next month.. We are increasing number of beds. By May-end, there will be 14,000 more beds," he said. He said central teams were projecting the number of patients up to one and half lakh by May 15. "But that has not happened and so I thanked the citizens of state," he added.
Maharashtra is in lockdown since March 22. It still has serious challenges in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Pune, Raigad, Solapur,Jalgaon, Nagpur and Aurangabad districts, which have been witnessing a rise in the number of patients.
In Mumbai, total eight wards have been a serious challenge for the administration. As per Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data released on Sunday, N Ward which is for Ghatkopar area, saw a growth rate of 13.7% in cases, which is highest in the city. It is followed by Mulund, (T ward) with 11.9 % growth rate. BMC has fixed 8% as the parameter to understand the growth in COVID-19 cases. Any ward more than 8% growth rate in the number of cases, will be given special attention. There are six more wards that have been seeing cases growing at the rate of more than 8%.
The slum areas, especially Dharavi, which saw a sudden increase in patients, were doing well in the past week. Dharavi has succeeded in keep the growth rate around 5.1%, adding some 2,000 patients. On Sunday, it added 27 new cases and two deaths. The total cases in the area are now 1,541.
Request to Kerala
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra medical education department has sent a request to Kerala for doctors and nurses. The southern state is being praised worldwide for its remarkable work in the fight against COVID-19. Last week, state health minister Rajesh Tope called Kerala health minister K.K.Shailaja and requested guidance and also help of expert doctors.
TP Lahane, head of Directorate of Medical Education and Research, has written a formal letter to the Kerala government requesting 150 doctors and nurses, especially for Mumbai and Pune. The expert doctors will be given Rs 2 lakh per month, MBBS doctors will be given Rs 80,000 per month and nurses will be paid Rs 30,000 per month with all other facilities, including food, care and stay, the letter says.
Maharashtra is in lockdown since March 22. There are a number of relaxations in the orange and green zones. Industries in this area have also been given permission to restart and about 60,000 industries have begun operations since May 3.
In his Sunday address, the chief minister indicated that the lockdown in Mumbai would be extended after May 31. It is being said that excluding the containment zones, the people in Mumbai and Thane districts may see some relaxations.