Maharashtra’s daily Covid cases surpass 6,000; govt steps up testing, tracking

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Maharashtra recorded a jump of more than 6,000 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Friday taking the state’s infection tally to 2,087,632. A jump of 6,112 cases in the western state was the highest in 83 days and its capital city of Mumbai reported 823 new infections for the first time in 77 days. 

The resurgence of cases in the western state has led to a gradual upward shift in the country’s infection Covid-19 curve. The state government, however, has not yet called the fresh spike a second wave of the pandemic. 

While Mumbai continues to report the maximum number of daily cases, its neighbouring cities – Thane, Navi Mumbai and Kalyan-Dombivli – have added 800, 663 and 748 new cases, respectively, in the same period. The rise in the number of cases in the city and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) is being attributed to the resumption of local trains for the general public since the beginning of February. 

The state health department and experts on the state-appointed panel have expressed confidence that the spread of the virus will be contained with stricter measures, higher testing and wider tracking.

As the state has been witnessing a steady spike for the past three days, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said he has instructed administrations in the state to take strict action against people who are found without masks in public. Pawar said district administrations have been authorised to assess the situation in their respective districts and impose a lockdown from 6am to 6pm, if the situation demands, according to news agency PTI. “I am going to chair a meeting on February 21 in Pune to discuss measures to contain the viral spread,” he added. 

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Meanwhile, in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has already re-imposed stringent measures to curb the spread of the viral disease. It has told contacts of high-risk patients to remain in home-quarantine or face imprisonment for up to six or a fine, or both. 

According to its fresh guidelines, BMC will also seal the buildings here five or more Covid-19 patients are found. Covid-19 war room officials will also telephone home-quarantined patients five to six times a day to check if they are at home.