After a brief slump in Covid-19 figures, Maharashtra on Wednesday reported a record surge of infections – 10,000 cases – a number last reached months ago.

Maharashtra is among the few states contributing to the nation’s major Covid-19 load. Last month, state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had alleviated fears of another lockdown but issued a stern warning to citizens to follow all precautions like wearing masks and social distancing. A similar trend in the rise of infections in the state was last seen in June-July 2020. On July 26 last year, the state had seen a whopping 9,431 Covid cases, becoming the fifth consecutive day then to see the new infection numbers cross the 9,000-mark.

Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 9,855 new COVID-19 cases on, taking the tally of infections in the state to 21,79,185, a health department official said. While the state recorded more than 9,000 cases after a long time, the death toll rose to 52,280 with 42 fresh fatalities, he said.

As many as 6,559 patients were discharged from hospitals since Tuesday evening, taking the number of recovered patients to 20,43,349. Maharashtra’s recovery rate of COVID-19 cases is 93.77 per cent, while the fatality rate is 2.40 per cent, the official said.

As many as 87,627 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, taking the number of samples tested for coronavirus in the state to 1,65,09,506. Out of these, 21,79,185 samples have tested positive which meant the positivity rate is 13.20 per cent.

Currently 3,60,500 people are in home quarantine and 3,701 are in institutional quarantine, whereas there are 82,343 active COVID-19 patients in the state. Mumbai reported 1,121 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally in the state capital to 3,28,742, and the death toll increased to 11,487 with six fresh fatalities in the city.

As many as 857 new cases were detected in Pune municipal limits, taking the tally to 2,11,256, while one new death took the death toll there to 4,579. Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad and Amravati municipal corporation areas reported 924, 593, 449 and 483 new COVID-19 cases, respectively.

Coronavirus figures for Maharashtra are as follows: Total cases 21,79,185, New cases 9,855, Total deaths 52,280, Total recoveries 20,43,349, Active cases 82,343, Total tests conducted 1,65,09,506.

Seven-day Quarantine for Brazil Arrivals

Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced that a seven-day institutional quarantine will be mandatory for those arriving from Brazil even if they have obtained a COVID-19 negative report prior to the journey. In a fresh circular, the civic body included Brazil in the list of countries under quarantine rules, citing the latest guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health about international arrivals.

The BMC said this rule will also be applicable to travelers from Maharashtra arriving at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in the city. Institutional quarantine for seven days and another seven days of home quarantine is already mandatory for persons arriving from the UK, Europe, South Africa and the Middle- East.

“Passengers from states other than Maharashtra, who wish to take connecting flights after their arrival, will be allowed to travel further if their RT-PCR test reports are negative at the airport,” the circular stated. Information about such travelers will be sent to their respective states, it said.

Travelers from the UK will be shifted to Seven Hills Hospital if they test positive for the infection, or if they are symptomatic on arrival or on day seven of their quarantine period, the civic body said. Travelers from the Middle East, Europe, South Africa and Brazil will be shifted to GT Hospital or four designated private hospitals as per their choice.

If travelers test negative on the seventh day, they will be discharged. Their hands will be stamped and they will need to give an undertaking to abide by home quarantine rules. According to the civic authorities, contacts of travelers who contract the infection during home quarantine or on arrival will be monitored and isolated.

Recent Lockdown in Hingoli

The Hingoli district administration had on Sunday imposed a weeklong lockdown till March 7. A total of 46 new COVID-19 cases were found on Saturday in Hingoli, located in the state’s Marathwada region, raising its tally to 4,083, as per official figures. The lockdown saw schools, colleges, religious places and function halls close doors during the period, while banks were permitted to operate only for administrative work.

Experts have recently warned that the coronavirus crisis is not over, and warned states against lowering their guard against the pandemic. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Director General Shekhar C Mande on Sunday said a “third wave” could be allowed lowering guard.

The expert clarified that India is nowhere near achieving herd immunity and as such people should continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing and hand hygiene to stay away from getting infected by the virus.

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