Maha records 18 Covid-19 deaths, minister admitted to hospital
There was no let-up in the Covid-19 situation as Maharashtra recorded 18 deaths and 431 new cases on Wednesday, while a prominent state cabinet minister was admitted to a hospital as "a precautionary measure".
Nationalist Congress Party leader and Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad had retreated into self-quarantine after some aides and security personnel were found Covid-19 positive.
Though the minister had tested negative, he has got himself admitted to a hospital "as a precautionary measure", and his condition is stable, according to political sources.
In another development, a security guard posted outside the home of Union Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale tested positive and is now in hospital for treatment.
The guard had displayed symptoms five days ago after which he was tested and found positive, confirmed an aide, even as the development sent shockwaves in political circles.
Incidentally, Athawale lives a stone's throw from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's residence 'Matoshri' in Bandra east, where a tea-seller had tested positive last month before lockdown.
Following the Centre's clearance, the state will soon conduct 75,000 rapid tests, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said today.
"We have also decided to use Hydroxychloroquine as a precautionary measure in some pockets like Dharavi of Mumbai," Tope said.
With today's figures, the state's total casualties shot up from 251 on Tuesday to 269 today and the number of Covid-19 patients jumped from 5,218 to 5,649.
Twice this week, the state notched its highest figures of 552 new cases, creating concerns among the health authorities.
Of the total 18 deaths, 10 were recorded in Mumbai, taking the total to 161 and the number of Covid-19 positive patients in the city shot up from 3,451 to 3,683.
Pune, which has been sealed along with Pimpri-Chinchwad since Monday, recorded 2 fresh deaths. There were 2 deaths in Aurangabad, and one each in Kalyan-Dombivali (Thane), Solapur, Jalgaon and Malegaon (Nashik).
Among the casualties today, there were 14 men and 4 women, and nearly 61 per cent of them had other serious ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, heart problems and asthma.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (Thane Division) continued to cause worries with 180 Covid-19 deaths and 4,345 positive cases.
Pune Division follows at a distant second slot with 62 casualties and 851 patients.
The next is Nashik Division with 14 deaths and 156 positive cases, followed by Nagpur Division with one casualty and 103 patients.
On the positive side, 67 fully cured patients returned home today, taking the number of those discharged to 789.
In a fresh alarm during lockdown, at least 19 employees of an IT company in Navi Mumbai tested Covid-19 positive and have been admitted to a nearby hospital.
Of these, 7 are from Navi Mumbai, 7 from Mumbai, 2 each from Thane and Telangana and one from Sangli and the company premises have been sealed.
Marking glad tidings for around 40,000 seafarers stranded aboard ships off the Indian coast, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's intervention with the Centre will permit them to disembark at Mumbai Port from tomorrow.
On Thursday, around 146 Indian crew of the cruise ship, 'Marella Discovery' will disembark from the ship which has been their home for over six weeks due to the lockdown.
Meanwhile, the number of people in home quarantine shot up from yesterday's 99,569 to 109,072 and those in institutional quarantine increased from 7,808 to 8,051 today, and the state's containment zones shot up from 432 to 465 on Wednesday.
As many as 6,798 surveillance squads have fanned out to survey a population of nearly 2.56 million around the state. IANS