Reflecting concern over growing numbers, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray told his cabinet on Wednesday about the need to boost vaccination and strictly enforce Covid-appropriate restrictions.
“Maharashtra has been strictly following the guidelines issued by Centre and has been transparent about data. There are some states that have elections and some others who are hosting events with huge crowds there. How is that cases are not increasing in those states?” said Thackeray during the cabinet meeting.
A presentation by the state health department for Wednesday’s cabinet meeting underlined the key issues: active cases have ballooned since February 11 in 35 districts, with Sindhudurg the only exception; doubling rate of cases has fallen to 63 days from 194 days on February 28; and recovery has slipped to 88.7% from 94% in the same period.
Cases in Pune, Nagpur, Mumbai, Thane and Nashik contribute 61% of the state’s active cases. The Mumbai administrative block comprising Mumbai, Thane and nearby corporations, accounted for nearly a third (9,147) of Wednesday’s tally of 31,855.
In Mumbai, the picture is getting bleaker as demand for hospital beds rises. Dr Prince Surana of Surana Hospital, Chembur, said enquiries have risen sharply. “We have 160 beds between two of our hospitals and they are full,’’ he said.
BMC additional commissioner Suresh Kakani said as most patients these days are from “highrises’’, private health facilities are more sought after. “We have about 2,900 private sector beds and these will be shortly be upgraded to 5,000,’’ he said. Around 41% of the 13,083 beds in the public and private sector are still vacant in Mumbai, he added. “More tests will result in more positive cases,’’ he said.
Dharavi, which has emerged as the barometer of Covid in Mumbai, reported 62 cases–the highest in the areas since May 2020.