Maharashtra Back on Top With Fresh Covid-19 Cases After 42 Days, Fear of Fresh Wave of Infections Rises

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Forty-two days after recording a slump in fresh Covid-19 cases, Maharashtra has taken the notorious top spot in the country again, leaving Kerala behind.

Maharashtra recorded 3,365 new cases, higher than Kerala’s count of 2,884 on Monday. The last time it logged the highest daily case count in the country was on January 4.

Talking to media in Aurangabad on Sunday night, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said, "We will have to take strict action after talking to the chief minister if cases continue to rise."

India recorded 9,093 new Covid-19 cases, higher than the tallies in the last two Mondays, when 8,584 and 8,712 cases, respectively, were reported. The count of fresh cases dips every Monday on account of lower testing and staff shortages over the weekend. This Monday’s cases came off less than 4.9 lakh tests, the lowest number of daily tests conducted in India in over six months.

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This was the highest number of cases detected in Maharashtra on a Monday since November 30. The state also reported 23 deaths. Its total caseload is now 20,67,643 and the toll 51,552. For the last six days in a row, the state has reported over 3,000 daily cases.

India reported 82 deaths from the virus on Monday, taking the total toll to 1,55,844. The country’s caseload was inching closer to the 11 million mark at 10,925,567.

According to a Times of India report, owing to the surge, Mumbai's doubling time that was nearing 600 days has now dropped to 479 days. Maharashtra on Sunday reported 4,092 new cases taking the overall caseload to 20,64,278. The city registered 645 cases, pushing the city's total to 3,14,076.

In the wake of the surge, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started deploying mobile COVID-19 testing vans in some pockets of Dharavi fearing a possible resurgence in infections. G North ward, which comprises Dharavi, Dadar, and Mahim, has recorded a weekly growth rate of 0.12 percent.

The state last recorded 4,000-plus cases (4,382) on January 6 and the city recorded (607) daily cases on January 14, exactly a month ago.

On Saturday, the state had reported 3,611 new coronavirus infections, taking the state's caseload to 20,60,186. As many as 38 new fatalities were also reported, taking the death toll due to the pandemic to 51,489.

The Maharashtra government recently made RT-PCR test mandatory for travellers from Kerala, which has been reporting a high number of Covid-19 cases, to check the spread of the viral infection in the western state.