Steady Climb in Cases in Maharashtra; Mumbai Records Highest Single-Day Spike Since December

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Maharashtra, and Mumbai, reported a steady increase in Covid-19 cases on Friday with over 6,000 single day infections emerging in the state even as Mumbai breached its two-month high.

Maharashtra has on Thursday crossed its 75-day record. The state reported 6,112 cases on Friday, of these 823 are in Mumbai. Pune reported 1,015 new COVID-19 cases, 493 recoveries, and 6 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the health department. The total death toll has reached 9,171.

The state had reported more than 6,000 cases in a single day on October 30 earlier, and the numbers had dropped steadily thereafter, the Indian Express reported.

Mumbai situation worsening

The addition of 823 coronavirus cases signalled a two-month high for Mumbai as it surpassed its highest single-day spike in infections since December. The tally of coronavirus cases in the country's financial capital thus rose to 3,17,310, while the death toll reached 11,435 with five new fatalities.

The city's daily count of infections crossed the 700- mark in the last two days after it had recorded less than 500 cases at the start of the week. As many as 440 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, taking the count of recoveries to 2,98,435.

With this, the city now has 6,577 active cases. The average growth rate of COVID-19 cases in the city has increased to 0.18 per cent from 0.17 per cent on Thursday, while the average doubling rate has dropped to 393 days from 417 days.

With 18,366 samples tested on Friday, the total of tests conducted so far has risen to 30,98,894. The civic body conducted around 15,000 COVID-19 tests every day earlier this month. With a spike in cases, it has ramped up testing, an official said.

Akola division, which includes districts of Akola, Amravati and Yavatmal, has been battling a fresh wave of virus, too, forcing authorities to clamp down on weekend activities. Both districts have announced a strict lockdown on Sunday and have also enforced night curfews. On Friday, Akola's Covid-19 tally stood at 82,904.

Earlier in the day, researchers said they had found two new mutations in coronavirus samples from Amravati and Yavatmal. These mutations can escape neutralizing antibodies. However, in none of the samples for which genome sequencing was done, the UK, South African or Brazilian strains of the virus were found, he added.

Meanwhile, 10,300 persons -- 3,000 healthcare workers and 7,300 frontline workers -- were administered Covid-19 vaccine at 26 centres in the city on Friday, taking the total of inoculated persons to 1,55,358. Of 10,300 people, 789 were administered a second dose, taking the number of people given a second shot of the vaccine to 2,419.

On Thursday, the BMC had warned that criminal cases would be registered against people found without masks in public, and strict action will be taken against function halls, gymnasiums and other establishments if they were found to be not following safety protocol. Additional marshals would be deployed on suburban trains to penalize commuters who do not wear a mask, it had said.

Earlier, when coronavirus cases in the city as well as in Maharashtra began to decline steadily, the government had relaxed the restrictions on travel by local trains in Mumbai.