Maharashtra continues to be the worst coronavirus-hit state in the country with the highest number of COVID-19 infections. On Monday, with 2,553 new cases, the total tally inched closer to the 90,000-mark and currently stands at 88,528. Now, the state has as many virus cases as China, where the deadly infection emerged last year.
With the easing of lockdown restrictions under the state government’s “Mission Begin Again”, authorities are expecting a surge in the number of infections, especially in parts of Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune and Aurangabad.
According to data released by the state health department, out of the total number of COVID-19 cases, 44,374 are active. Meanwhile, 3,169 people have died in the state dut to the virus; 109 deaths were reported on Monday.
The Maharashtra government has permitted private offices in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to operate with 10 per cent of their workforce or 10 employees, whichever is higher. This relaxation, along with the resumption of bus services by Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), led to more traffic snarls on the roads.
Last week, the state government also permitted physical activities such as jogging and additionally allowed non-essential shops to operate on alternate days in red zones, excluding containment areas.
“We are closely monitoring the situation as we expect a surge in Mumbai Metropolitan Region and districts such as Pune and Aurangabad after the relaxations of curbs in three phases over the past one week,” said a senior official who didn’t wish to be named, as per a news report by HT.
Officials, however, said there was no surge in cases even after lockdown was relaxed.
“There was a rise in cases in districts like Nashik and Aurangabad after the lockdown was lifted in the third week of May, but it was not a surge. The rise is proportional and the doubling rate of cases in these areas is improving. There was no exponential growth in cases,” said another official.