MUMBAI: For the last 25 days, the toll due to Covid-19 in Maharashtra has been rising by 1,000 deaths every fifth day.

Casualties in the state, one of India’s most populated regions, is now ahead of many countries; the toll in Germany stands at 9,069 deaths while Canada has 8,811 deaths. China, where the pandemic started in November, has less than half of Maharashtra’s fatalities at 4,641 so far.
Maharashtra accounts for 45% of the country’s toll of 22,123 so far.
It was 5,537 on June 16 when public health authorities launched a big ‘death reconciliation’ exercise following criticism that it was hiding Covid-19 deaths; 1,329 deaths were added in a single day.
Barely five days after the June 16 revision, the figure jumped from 5,537 to 6,170 on June 21.
The surge in Maharashtra has come from Covid clusters emerging in the satellite cities of Mumbai. Thane district (with nine municipal corporations and councils around the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation) recorded only 641 deaths until June 16, but the increase there has been sharp – 957 – since then. The overall Thane district toll is 1,598 so far.
Mumbai has only recorded 2,077 deaths since June 16 (3,167 before that). “It is clear that Mumbai has flattened out after hitting a peak in the second half of May. Now Maharashtra is on the verge of reaching a peak,’’ said Dr Shashank Joshi, dean of the Indian College of Physicians, who is also a member of the state’s task force on Covid-19.
Dr Joshi said cases are likely to continue rising at the current pace in Maharashtra for another two weeks. Proximity to Mumbai has been often cited as one of the reasons for the toll in the rest of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. In addition, Pune, Jalgaon and Aurangabad are the areas that officials are worried about.
A doctor from the state public health department, however, felt that rising numbers could also be a function of increased testing.
“Maharashtra has over 110 testing facilities now,’’ said the doctor.
However, another doctor said it should be checked if the rise is due to an increase in cases from areas that were unlocked.

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