Maha Covid-19 positive cases shoot to 302, 11 deaths (Intro Roundup)

Mumbai, March 31 (IANS) A 50-year old man died due to Covid-19 at a government hospital in Palghar, raising the total toll in Maharashtra to 11, officials said here late in Tuesday.

Earlier, in the sharpest spurt since lockdown started, the state notched a staggering 302 Covid-19 positive cases with the highest number from Mumbai.

According to an official, the latest victim had been admitted to a private hospital in Palghar on Sunday with high fever and coughing.

Later he was shifted to the Palghar government hospital where he succumbed this evening.

His medical reports were positive for Covid-19, said an official.

In the past 24 hours, the number of cases skyrocketed from 259 to 302 – an increase of 43 cases.

The total positive cases stood comprised 151 in Mumbai, 48 in Pune, 36 in Thane region, 25 in Sangli, Nagpur 16, eight in Ahmednagar, four in Yavatmal, three in Buldhana, two each in Satara and Kolhapur, one each in Aurangabad, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Gondia, Jalgaon, Nashik, besides one from Gujarat.

The state has so far notched 11 Covid-19 deaths, including 8 in Mumbai, and one each in Palghar, Pune and Buldhana. Among them the state’s youngest victim, a 40-year old suburban home-maker with no history of foreign travel, and a medico in his early 80s, said officials.

Addressing the state late this evening, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray again appealed to the people to remain indoors and maintain social distancing.

“The ‘war against coronavirus’ has reached a crucial stage and this is the time to exercise extreme precautions. Please do not step out of your homes for your own safety,” he pleaded.

Thackeray said that the problems of migrant labourers had been adequately addressed with around 1,000 camps – up from 262 on Monday – started functioning on Tuesday.

The number of Rs 5 ‘Shiva Bhojan Thali’ meals have been hiked from the normal 25,000 daily to now 100,000, with plans to increase more if required.

“The state has sufficient stocks of foodgrains, vegetables and medicines and there’s no need to panic,” the CM said.

As per the latest official data, so far 39 persons have fully recovered and discharged to go home, while 23,914 people are in home quarantine, 1434 in institutional isolation across the state.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that the ICMR has so far approved starting 23 testing labs, including 13 in the private sector.

In a related development, the health authorities have sealed off the Worli-Koliwada, one of Mumbai’s oldest fisherfolk colonies which falls in the constituency of Tourism and Environment Minister Aditya U. Thackeray, after at least 4-5 positive cases were detected.

“Late last night 2 am onwards, Koliwada and Janata Colony have been sealed off further. Disinfection and fumigation is on along with contact tracing,” Aditya Thackeray tweeted.

According to officials, one of the reasons for the huge increase in cases on Tuesday is attributed to the Mumbai population density, especially in sprawling dingy slums with tiny tenements – which make up half of the country’s commercial capital.

The slums house millions of people eking out an existence in cramped quarters, with common sanitation facilities, insufficient water supply, no open spaces or greenery, making them a potentially fertile ground for diseases with little or no scope for asocial distancing’.


Indo Asian News Service

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