In 120 days, Maha Covid-19 deaths skyrocket from one to 11,100-plus!. Image Source: IANS News

Mumbai, July 17 : It was on March 17 that Maharashtra notched its first COVID-19 death -- of a 64-year-old man who succumbed to the coronavirus at Mumbai's Kasturba Hospital. Exactly 120 days later, the state's death toll has on Friday skyrocketed from 1 to 11,194 -- averaging roughly 93 fatalities per day, official data says.

In probably the brightest spot in the global pandemic so far, Asia's biggest slum Dharavi, spread over 2.25 sq km and housing a population of 800,000-plus, has not only 'recovered' well, but earned a pat for its success in the corona fight from the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Tedros A. Ghebreyesus on July 10-11, gladdening Maharashtra's health authorities.

For BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), ever since the first death was reported, the fatalities has touched 5,523, or an average of around 46 Covid casualties daily in the country's commercial capital.

In terms of the proliferation, the state tally has shot up from only the first two COVID-19 positive cases in Pune (March 9) to 284,281 on Friday -- a staggering average of 2,187 new cases per day in the past nearly 130 days.

After its first patient's death (March 17), the state on recorded 201 deaths and 3,320 cases by April 17; which by May 17 shot up 10 times to 33,053 cases and 1,198 fatalities; and by June 17 it tripled to 113,445 patients and over 5,537 deaths.

In the past one month, the number of cases has more than doubled, shooting up from 120,504 (June 18) to touch 284,281 on July 17.

Currently, Maharashtra has overtaken Iran which has 267,061 patients (number 11 on Worldometer COVID-19 dashboard) and the state continues to zoom ahead as more cases get added daily.

Simultaneously, the state also recorded an improved rate of recovery -- from 50.49 per cent on June 18 to a laudable 55.63 per cent till date, or 158,140 fully cured patients returning home, including 3 centenarians.

Even the mortality (death) rate -- which stood at 4.77 per cent earlier -- has been steadily declining to touch 3.94 per cent currently.

This must be viewed against the backdrop of April, when at one point Maharashtra's mortality rate was the highest in the world, shocking health authorities.

However, with the frantic efforts of the state government and Corona Warriors, the state's death rate has gradually dipped to 3.94 per cent, compared with the global average (4.37), and closer to the national average (2.57) now.

Barely 72 hours before the first death (on March 17), the state had invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 (March 13) and framed 'The Maharashtra COVID-19 Regulations, 2020' (March 14).

From March 15, the state had lapsed into a partial precautionary lockdown -- confident of grabbing the invisible coronavirus by the horns -- followed by ongoing extensions to the lockdown with easing of restrictions till July 30.

By March 31, during the first phase of the lockdown, the state recorded 10 deaths and 302 patients, including Mumbai's 7 fatalities and 151 patients.

Till the second lockdown, by April 15, the state had notched 187 deaths and 2,916 cases, comprising Mumbai's 114 deaths and 1,896 patients.

As the third lockdown was on by April 30, the state had recorded 459 deaths and 10,498 total patients, including Mumbai's 290 deaths and 7,061 cases.

By July 16 when the easing of lockdown was underway, COVID-19 had spread its deadly tentacles to all 36 districts in the state, though only one district - Chandrapur -- has remained 'corona death-free' so far.

Mumbai has emerged as India's 'Corona Capital' with 5,523 deaths and 97,950 total cases, overtaking countries like China (83,622 cases) and Iraq (86,148 cases).

Zooming ahead to grab the second slot in June, the adjoining Thane district notched 1,907 fatalities and 69,471 patients, while Pune district ranks a distant third with 1,237 deaths and 46,668 patients now.

Mumbai Metropolitan Region (Thane division - Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts) has 188,373 cases and 7,846 deaths, followed by Pune division (Pune, Solapur, Satara districts) standing at 53,662 cases and 1,675 fatalities.

From the highest Thane and Pune divisions, the scourge has also dug in deeply to the other 6 divisions of the state -- Nashik division (832 deaths/18,177 cases), Aurangabad (414/10,714), Akola (178/4,167), Latur (101/2,305), Kolhapur (87/3,550), and Nagpur division (30/3115).

As monsoon climbs its seasonal peak, July has been recording a significantly high number of coronavirus deaths at the rate of around 200-plus daily and new cases in the upper ranges of 6K-plus everyday.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at

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-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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