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Mumbai, April 23, 2020
The COVID-19 situation continued to be grim in Maharashtra with 14 deaths and as many as 778 new cases on Thursday, health officials said here.
With these, the state's total fatalities shot up from 269 on Wednesday to 283 and the number of COVID-19 patients jumped from 5,649 to 6,427 today.
Twice this week, the state notched its previous highest figures of 552 new cases, creating huge concerns among the health authorities.
Of the total 14 deaths, 6 were recorded in Mumbai, taking the total in the city to 167 and the number of COVID-19 positive patients in the city shot up from 3,683 to 4,205 today.
Pune, which has been sealed along with Pimpri-Chinchwad since Monday till April 27, recorded 5 more deaths.
There was one death each in Navi Mumbai, Dhule besides Nandurbar - which had been considered a 'Green Zone' at the beginning of this week.
Nandurbar notched its first positive case on April 20 and seven patients till date, and marked its first casualty within four days, as per official data.
Among the deaths on Thursday, there were 8 men and 6 women, and nearly 60 percent of them suffered from other serious ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, heart problems and asthma.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (Thane Division) continued to cause worries with 187 COVID-19 deaths and 4,980 patients.
Pune Division follows with 67 fatalities and 963 patients. The next is Nashik Division with 16 deaths and 184 positive cases, followed by Nagpur Division with one casualty and 103 patients.
On the positive side, 51 fully cured patients returned home on Thursday, taking the number of those discharged to 840.
In another positive development, around 145 sailors of cruise ship, 'Marella Discovery' were finally permitted to disembark at Mumbai Port after spending around 6 weeks on the seas.
They underwent COVID-19 tests and have been sent to 14 days quarantine at a government facility, paving the way for return of another estimated 40,000 Indian crew members stuck on various ships due to the lockdown.
Meanwhile, the number of people in home quarantine shot up from 109,072 to 114,398 and those in institutional quarantine increased from 8,051 to 8,702, and the state's containment zones shot up from 465 on Wednesday to 477.
As many as 7,491 surveillance squads have fanned out to survey a population of nearly 2.72 million around the state.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed the health authorities in Mumbai and Pune -- the worst-hit COVID-19 hotspots -- to take measures to slash the death rate and reduce the doubling rate of coronavirus patients from the current 7 to 10 days, as recommended by the 5-member Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) on its tour of the state.
BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said that of the 326 containment zones in Mumbai, 447 are in buildings where the situation is improving quickly.
Following the Centre's clearance, the state will soon conduct 75,000 rapid tests, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.
"We have also decided to use Hydroxychloroquine as a precautionary measure in some pockets like Dharavi of Mumbai," he said.