Coronavirus: The NSCI Dome, an indoor stadium converted into an isolation center in Mumbai.
Twenty-five more people died from COVID – 25 in Maharashtra on Thursday in the sharpest spike yet since the beginning of the global pandemic, taking the total number of deaths to 106. With 375 more people testing positive, the number of coronavirus cases in the state reached 1, , a health official said, which is the highest in the country.
“Both the number of new patients and that of deaths are highest for a single day so far,” the official said.
Nine deaths and 179 of the new cases were reported in Mumbai. With the highest number of cases at , the city is gearing up for an extended battle against COVID – 27. Pune recorded (of the new deaths.)
Sources have told NDTV that an extension of the lockdown for Mumbai and Pune is definitely being considered while non-affected areas may see some relaxations, especially for farming-related activities.
The final decision will be announced by the state’s cabinet after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video-conference with Chief Ministers on Friday. Odisha has already extended the lockdown until April .
The worst affected areas of Mumbai are places like Worli and Prabhadevi which fall within the G-South Ward of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation where cases have been detected. D Ward, E Ward, and K-West Ward each have recorded between and cases.
Worli Koliwada, a fishing village with a population of 93, people, has been declared a containment area and so have several other locations in Worli and Prabhadevi. All families living in the area are going to be screened with doctors and medical staff going to each and every home.
Another area of concern is Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum with a population of around 8 lakh residents. The area has reported cases until the previous health bulletin and now has several containment areas with severe restrictions on movement.
Mumbai now has containment areas in all with strict curfew measures being implemented in these places.
The city is also preparing a mega quarantine center at the NSCI Dome, an indoor stadium used to host sporting events and functions, with 639 beds with scope for further expansion. More such locations are being surveyed to ensure the city has enough quarantine beds.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in his address to the state on Wednesday, told citizens that they would have to stay at home, while talking about how Singapore has imposed a fresh lockdown and how long it took for things to return to normal in China’s Wuhan, where the virus originated late last year.
Authorities attribute the high number of cases to increased testing. The World Health Organization or WHO says more testing is a key step in the fight against the virus and cities like Mumbai have ramped up testing with more testing kits being procured and private labs conducting tests as well. They say the percentage of those who test positive has hovered around 5 per cent of total number of tests and that is a good indicator.
Authorities say given that Mumbai is one of the largest international hubs in the country with flights to almost every part of the world, the first cases came in from abroad. Initially those who tested positive were those who had travel history to the affected countries or were in contact with those who had traveled recently. Measures like containment had started from mid-March but critical steps like a nationwide lockdown was implemented only from March 30 and they hope these steps, including the possibility of an extended lockdown, will stop the spread in Mumbai.
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