Mumbai, April 19 : ExactLy 13 months after Maharshtra recorded its first Covid-19 death on April 17, the state toll on Sunday crossed the 60K mark to touch 60,473 - just short of Poland's 62,032 fatalities, health officials said here on Monday The state's latest case tally is equally worrisome - 38,39,338, ranking below Italy's 38,79,131, which stands at No. 8 on the Worldometer.
Currently, the state has 670,388 'active cases', higher than Turkey's 544,931 (No.5) 'active cases' but lower than France 10,72,849 (No.4) As the pandemic continues to be on deadly prowl, the state has been setting new records of fresh infections daily - the highest being 68,631 (April 18).
The state also notched its highest death toll in the ongoing 'second-wave' - 503 fatalities (April 18), yanking up the toll to 60,473 till date in the past 13 months.
With the infection spreading, the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is now contemplating a total strict lockdown with further stringent regulations to discipline the people and rein in the contagion.
"Restrictions will have to be strictly adhered to, or else strict action will be taken," warned a grim Home Minister Dilip Wasle-Patil on Sunday.
Although Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has not commented on a possible total lockdown, several senior ministers and legislators of the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress besides the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party are largely in favour to prevent a collapse of the state health systems.
For most days in April, the state has been reporting 60K-plus new cases daily, straining the healthcare infrastructure to virtually breaking point.
"This is a matter of concern Both deaths and total cases are on rise continuously," said Dr Suhas Pingle, Chairman, Action Committee, IMA-Maharashtra.
A far cry from the early days 13 months back, when the first two Covid-positive cases were notched in Pune on March 9, 2020, followed by the first death of a senior male citizen in Mumbai on March 17, when partial lockdown-style measures were already clamped in Maharashtra.
Seven months later, the contagion peaked with 515 deaths (Sep. 15, 2020) and started on a down-crest till Feb. 2021, enabling the government and health authorities breathe easy.
As lockdown barriers were cautiously eased or opened up, quietly, the Covid-19 again picked up from March 2021 with the grip deadlier than last year, infecting more people daily than ever before, though the fatalities are comparative lower.
Till date, Mumbai has notched the highest deaths (12,354) while Pune has recorded the maximum tally of cases (594,460) in the country.
A total of 37-lakh plus are in home isolation or institutional quarantine and 31,06,828 people have been cured and discharged from hospitals.
This year the health infrastructure is bearing the brunt of the higher case-load with complaints of shortages on all fronts - beds in hospitals, oxygen, Remdesivir injections, besides other medical requirements for which the ruling allies have been pleading with the Centre to provide on urgent basis.
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