2nd Covid-19 death in Maha, 74 cases and 210 results awaited (2nd Lead)

Mumbai, March 22 (IANS) In a major health concern, one more person died and the total number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra shot up to 74 with 10 new cases even as the state was on the threshold of a ‘multiplication stage' of the virus, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said here on Sunday.

While a 63-year old man died late on Saturday at the Sir H.N. Reliance Hospital, six new cases were detected in Mumbai, and four in Pune, with all undergoing treatment.


“The test results of another 210 samples are awaited while 1,592 have tested negative so far. The number of positive patients has gone up drastically in the past two days – from 53 to 64 on Saturday and 74 today. This is the stage to exercise extreme precaution since we don't want to enter from Phase II to Phase III at any cost,” Tope said.

He said the decision to extend the ‘Janata curfew' till 5 a.m. on Monday morning and the near-total lockdown of the state till March 31, besides slapping prohibitory orders in all urban and semi-urban centres is intended to “stop the multiplication of the virus” among the general public.

According to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the second victim was a 63-year old COVID-19 positive patient who had been admitted to the hospital on March 19.

He was also suffering from heart problems, chronic diabetes and high blood pressure and late on Saturday night, developed acute breathing problems and succumbing around 11 p.m.

As the state continued to lead in the number of active cases, Tope again urged people to strictly remain indoors as ‘isolation' is the key to battling the COVID-19 virus spread.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has slapped a total ban on private offices, slashing attendance in government offices to just 05 per cent and statewide cancellation of exams in classes 1 to 8, besides the prohibitory orders.

On Friday, the government had slapped a total ban on all non-essential services in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur as a measure to reduce crowds which has not been extended to entire Maharashtra, the CM said.

Even as the government made all-out efforts to restrict people inside their homes, the Latur police booked six persons for holding a wedding attended by many invitees despite appeals by the local authorities.

Among those booked include four from the groom and the bride's family, a priest and the wedding venue owner for the marriage which took place in the Signal Camp area of the town on Saturday.

The state government has postponed all non-essential planned surgeries in civic, public health and medical college hospitals to divert all medical resources to fighting Coronavirus. As many as 7,000 quarantine beds were added in the state besides 250 beds in isolation wardss.

Tope said the state has completely banned all flights from worst-hit 12 countries besides exercising extreme precautions for flights from all other nations at the three international airports in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur since the past over a month.