Maharashtra on Wednesday night reported a record high of 985 COVID-19 deaths – a ten per cent increase from yesterday. The state also reported 63,309 new cases – a five per cent drop from yesterday – to take its active caseload to over 6.73 lakh.
The positivity rate – the number of tests per 100 that are confirming COVID-19 – is 16.86 per cent and the case fatality rate – the ratio of deaths compared to total infections – is 1.5 per cent.
The state’s recovery rate is 83.4 per cent; 61,181 people were discharged today.
Pune remains the worst-affected district, recording 9,472 new cases and 169 deaths, followed by Nagpur (7,984 cases and 83 deaths), Mumbai (4,966 cases and 78 deaths), Nashik )4,739 cases and 40 deaths), Thane (1,933 cases and 92 deaths) and Aurangabad (1,472 cases and 81 deaths).
Of the 985 deaths reported today, only 392 occurred in the last 48 hours.
251 took place in the last week and the rest – 342 – are from the period before last week. Of those 342, the majority (82) were from Pune, Aurangabad (80), Thane (53), Nagpur (23) and Nashik (17).
Officials said the process of reconciling mortality data had been completed till April 23. This had lead to a slight increase in the total number of deaths – by 50 – officially linked to the virus.
The state is likely to extend existing Covid-related restrictions by 15 days, Health Minister Rajesh Tope told news agency PTI earlier today, as the deadly wave of infections continues. The final decision on this, however, will be taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Mr Tope said.
Last week the Chief Minister announced a series of measures to combat the spike in cases. These measures, which included limiting attendance at non-essential private and government offices, and use of public transport – were to stay till 7 am on May 1.
Restrictions were also imposed on weddings and social events, and shops selling groceries, dairy products and vegetables were allowed to open for only four hours – 7 am to 11 am per day.
Chief Minister Thackeray had earlier announced a night curfew and weekend lockdown.
The state has, meanwhile, confirmed it will provide free vaccines for people between 18 and 44.
Today, the Cabinet under the leadership of CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has decided to provide free COVID-19 vaccination to all the citizens of Maharashtra aged between 18-44years.#BreakTheChainpic.twitter.com/dzgmCLEDGT
— Office of Uddhav Thackeray (@OfficeofUT) April 28, 2021
“We have been fighting the COVID battle for the last 18 months. Vaccination has been started in the state since January in collaboration with the Center. To date, more than 1.5 crore people under the age of 45 have been vaccinated. This is a record in the country,” the Chief Minister said.
Across India over 100 crore people in this age group can get the vaccines from May 1 – part of the centre’s “liberalised” vaccination policy that emerged after the devastating second Covid wave.