Number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra counts 52

Coronavirus: Maharashtra count now 52, including 21 from Mumbai Metropolitan Region

The number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra climbed to 52 after four more people tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Friday, state health department officials said.

Of the fresh cases, two are from Mumbai, while Pune and its neighbouring Pimpri Chinchwad account for one each.

These comprise a 38-year-old man who had travelled to Turkey and a 62-year-old who returned from England, both returning to Mumbai on March 14, and a 20-year-old who came back from Scotland and a 22-year-old who visited Philippines and Singapore, a state government release informed.

The last two tested positive in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad respectively, it added.

"Of the people undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at hospitals, 41 are asymptomatic, eight have minor symptoms, and two admitted in Kasturba hospital in Mumbai are critical," the release said.

Some patients were responding to treatment and after completion of the 14-day isolation period, they will be discharged if a re-test returns negative, said Rajesh Tope, state health minister.

According to the health department, 12 persons have, so far, tested positive in Pimpri-Chinchwad, nine in Pune, 11 in Mumbai, four in Nagpur, three each at Yavatmal, Navi Mumbai and Kalyan, two in Ahmednagar, and one each in Raigad, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Ratnagiri and Aurangabad.

Of the 52 COVID-19 patients in the state, one died on March 17, it added.

It said 1,586 people arrived from COVID-19 affected areas, 281 are kept under observation, while 1317 are admitted in isolation facilities for symptoms like cough, cold and fever.

Meanwhile, the number of cases in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) touched 21 after three people were detected with COVID-19, comprising two from the metropolis and one from Kalyan in neighbouring Thane district.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation deputy director (health), Daksha Shah, said the number of COVID-19 patients in Mumbai was now 11, including a senior citizen who died on March 17.

"Everyday we find 1-2 positive patients. Most have international travel history, and in 4-5 cases, we found contact history. Hence we are saying transmission in families and close contracts has started," she said.

She said the 62-year-old who tested positive in Mumbai suffers from blood pressure, diabetes and cancer, and hence is in a high risk category.

The 53-year-old man from Kalyan, who tested positive on Friday, was part of the group of 40 people who returned from Dubai on March 14, and he developed symptoms on March 19, she informed.

"BMC has now activated isolation and OPD screening facilities at other designated centres in suburban Mumbai, as the facility was operational only at Kasturba hospital and Trauma Care Hospital till Thursday. Private hospitals will be ready with 100 beds soon," Shah said.

"We have activated a new laboratory at KEM hospital and started testing samples there in two shifts, while private laboratories are also ready to conduct tests once they get permission from the government," said Shah.

She stressed on quarantine, contact tracing and restrictions on mass gathering, as was done in places like Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, to stall the exponential multiplication of COVID-19 cases.

She said these measures will ensure the transmission of the disease does not move from stage 2 to stage 3. 

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