On Wednesday, Cyclone Nisarga made landfall in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. A cyclonic storm aside, it was also the day when the single-day death toll due to COVID-19 in the state was the highest; 122 deaths due took the death toll due to the novel coronavirus to 2,587 in the state.
As of today, the total number of COVID-19 patients in Maharashtra are 74,860, a number which includes those that have died, as well as the 32,329 cured cases. The number of active patients in Maharashtra on Wednesday were 39,944, up by 1,442 from 38,502, the corresponding number on Tuesday.
Maharashtra currently has the highest number of COVID-19 patients in India. The state of Tamil Nadu has 25,872 patients while the Union Territory of Delhi is third with 23,645 cases.
Though the number of cases remain high in Maharashtra, the growth rate of COVID-19 patients is declining in the state. On May 1, the growth rate was 7.76%, a number which had declined to 4.15% on June 1, after being measured at 6.23% on May 15. In Mumbai, the worst-affected city, the number is falling rapidly. Between May 23 and May 29, the growth rate in the capital was 4.52% and between May 29 and June 2, the figure was down to 3.64%. The doubling rate (number of days it takes for cases to double) of cases has also fallen from 9.27 days on May 1, to 17.35 days on June 1.
Mumbai has been one of the primary hot-spots for COVID-19 cases from the beginning. On Wednesday evening, there were a total of 43,492 cases in Mumbai. The number included 1,417 deaths and 17,472 patients that had been cured. On the same day, there had been 49 deaths in Mumbai due to COVID-19.
The ward-wise data for COVID-19 shows that G North ward still has the highest number of patients. The ward consists of areas like Dharavi, Mahim, Dadar and Shivaji Park. Out of a total of 3,196 cases from the ward, 1,895 patients have been discharged so far, while there are 1,136 active cases. The highest number of active COVID-19 patients are 1,504, in the F North ward, where 1,118 patients have been cured.
Aside from Mumbai, the districts of Thane, Pune, Raigad, Palghar, Nasik, Solapur and Akola are witnessing a worrisome rapid growth in the number of patients. While Pune has 8,463 cases, Thane has 10,865, Nasik is at 1,235, Raigad 1,238, Solapur has 1,032 and Palghar has 1,199 cases of COVID-19. The fatality rate, which is 3.45% in the state, is slightly higher than 3.25%, the corresponding number in Mumbai, on Wednesday.
What is also concerning for the state capital is that about 3,500 front-line workers, the majority of them from Mumbai, have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. The number includes more than 500 doctors and just over 1,500 members of the police force.
Maharashtra has declared that it will lift the lockdown in a phase-wise manner between June 3 and June 8, while extending the lockdown till June 30. The state government directive was issued on Sunday, a day after the Centre’s “Unlock 1” guidelines.
Labelling the move “Mission Begin Again”, the government had allowed for markets and shops, excluding malls, to function from June 5 on an odd-even basis between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. In addition, private companies in non-red zone areas are allowed to have 15% of its staff present. Government offices, excluding health and emergency services, disaster management and municipal services, will be allowed to function at 15% staff strength or 15 employees, whichever is more. However, educational institutions, metro rail services, cinema halls and the like, religious places, hotels and salons will not be functional.
The move will increase the burden on the state government to halt the spread of COVID-19 further.