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Amid spike, Ajit Pawar hints at lockdown

Upward trend in cases continues in Maharashtra; State reports 5,753 new cases, just 4,060 recoveries

Noting the dramatic surge in fresh COVID-19 cases following the Deepavali festivities, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday hinted at another lockdown in the coming days.

Mr. Pawar, who is also the Guardian Minister of Pune district, said, “A decision on a possible lockdown will be clear in the next five-six days… Big crowds were seen during the Deepavali period. So, now, we are reviewing the situation and talking to all departments concerned.”

“This occurred even during the Ganesh festivities… at the time, cases had reduced prior to the festive season, only to surge dramatically once the immersion was over. During Deepavali, people were crowding as if corona could be killed because of large crowds and herd immunity,” he added.

Mr. Pawar said the government has drafted regulations for the reopening of schools. “These regulations include testing of teachers and how classrooms ought to be sanitised,” he said.

The Deputy Chief Minister, who himself recently contracted the virus, said people must wear masks while stepping out. Mr. Pawar said that he would be holding review meetings with the Pune district administration officials after December 1.

Active cases surge again

Maharashtra on Sunday reported just 4,060 recoveries as opposed to 5,753 new cases, taking the total case tally to 17,80,208. The active cases have surged to 81,512.

However, the case surge must be viewed in the high number of samples being tested — 92,000 — in the last 24 hours. The cumulative recoveries stand at 16,51,064, with the State’s recovery rate falling to 92.75%. The surge in deaths was comparatively lower, with 50 deaths taking the total toll to 46,623.

“Of a total of 1,02,13,026 laboratory samples tested thus far, 17,80,208 (case positivity rate of 17.43%) have returned positive, with 92,556 samples being tested in the last 24 hours,” said State Surveillance Officer Dr. Pradeep Awate, adding that the State’s case fatality rate currently stood at 2.62%.

Pune district reported over 750 new cases to take its tally to 3,46,433, while 11 deaths saw its toll climb to 7,289. As per district administration figures, active cases are nudging the 10,000-mark, rising to 9,863, while its recovery rate has incrementally dipped to 94.62%.

1,135 cases in Mumbai

Mumbai reported 1,135 cases to take its case load to 2,73,486, of which 12,448 are active. With 19 fatalities, the city’s toll rose to 10,675.

Nagpur district reported 483 new cases, taking the district’s total case tally to 1,10,966, of which just 3,244 are active. Twelve deaths saw the toll reach 2,921. Satara in western Maharashtra reported five deaths to take its toll to 1,605. As many as 189 fresh cases saw the total case tally rise to 51,151, of which 2,470 are active.

Sangli district reported 78 cases and no deaths as its tally touched 48,219, of which 1,170 are active. Its death toll stands at 1,713. Kolhapur recorded 28 cases and no deaths as its tally reached 48,373, while active cases stand at 336. The death toll remains constant at 1,668.

In north Maharashtra, Nashik district reported more than 200 new cases as its total case tally reached 102,375, of which 2,371 are active. Neighbouring Jalgaon reported 72 new cases and no deaths as its total case tally touched 54,556, of which only 1,017 are active, while its death toll stands at 1,380.

Dr. Awate said a total of 5,15,976 people across the State were in home quarantine and 5,615 were in institutional quarantine facilities.

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