Mumbai, April 21 (IANS) For the second time in 48 hours, Maharashtra got a shocking 552 new Covid-19 positive cases with the total cases crossing 5,000 to stand at 5,218, besides notching 19 deaths, health officials said here on Tuesday.
This has taken up the state's total fatalities from 232 to 251, and the positive cases from 4,666 to 5,218.
Of the total 19 deaths, 12 were recorded in Mumbai, taking the city's total to 151 and the number of Covid-19 positive patients shot up from 3,032 on April 20 to 3,451.
After remaining free of Covid-19 casualties since three days, Pune – which has been sealed along with Pimpri-Chinchwad since Monday – recorded fresh deaths – 3 in Pune and one in Pimpri-Chinchwad, besides two in Thane city and one in Sangli.
The 552 jump in new positive cases is the second time such a high figure has occurred in two days, after a similar spurt (552) was recorded on Sunday, creating concerns in different quarters.
As per the Health Department bulletin, of the new cases, Mumbai alone accounted for 419 — higher than Monday'ss figures, though the BMC has stated 355 new cases.
Among the new fatalities, there were 10 men and 9 women, and nearly two-thirds of them had other serious ailments like diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, asthma, etc.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region continued to cause worries with 169 Covid-19 deaths and 4,077 positive cases till date.
Pune Division follows at a distant second slot with 59 deaths and 754 patients.
The next is Nashik Division with 12 deaths and 135 positive cases, followed by Nagpur Division with one fatality and 82 patients.
On the positive side, 150 fully cured patients returned home on Tuesday, taking the number of those discharged to 722 till date.
Rattled by crowds surging out on the roads after norms were eased for industrial purposes, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray this evening withdrew the relaxation for Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Pune Metropolitan Region – the biggest industrial centres in the state and country.
Meanwhile, a five-member Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) arrived in Maharashtra to assess the situation pertaining to Covid-19 management and the lockdown.
While one group led by Additional Secretary, Food Processing Industries, Manoj Joshi visited Mumbai's Kasturba Hospital the other group led by Additional Secretary, Power, Sanjay Malhotra is in Pune which has the second highest number of Covid-19 patients in the country.
A potential row built up after the Indian Medical Association-Maharashtra, President Dr. Avinash Bhondwe and Secretary Dr. Pankaj Bandarkar issued a circular, asking doctors to refrain from criticising the state government.
The circular speaks of information received from the Maharashtra Cyber Cell monitoring WhatsApp groups of doctors where objectionable comments were found.
“The WhatsApp groups should be used to send messages and discussions. No derogatory comments on government's decisions. We may post our reactions to certain decisions but in non-offending language,” the IMA said, pointing out that doctors are the “cream of the society”.
Over 25,000 people have sought help on the ‘BMC-Mpower 1on1' – a helpline launched by Mpower for mental healthcare jointly with the state government the BMC, in the past 18 days, according to Mpower founder-chairperson Neerja Birla.
Two days ago, Thackeray had appealed to the people of the state to seek assistance from the helpline on any mental health concerns during the lockdown.
Meanwhile, the number of people in home quarantine shot up from 93,655 to touch 99,569, and those in institutional quarantine increased from 6,879 to 7,808, and the state's containment zones shot up from 364 to 432.
As many as 6,611 surveillance squads have fanned out to survey a population of nearly 2.70 million around the state.