Maha records 14 Covid-19 deaths, new cases highest at 778

A special relief flight of Air India airlifted 99 US citizens stuck, in Hyderabad on Apr 7, 2020. The flight, which took off from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), carried the US citizens to Mumbai, from where they will be further connected with Delta Airlines from Mumbai to their final destination in the US. In coordination with the US Consulate and the Telangana State government, a group of 98 adults and one infant US-bound passengers arrived at the airport from various parts of Hyderabad. All these passengers were serviced through the fully-sanitized main passenger terminal building, which has been kept ready for evacuation operations. Special screening and safety measures were in place during the flight's handling to protect against the COVID-19 threat including thermal screening prior to terminal entry, mandatory social distancing enforced through special queuing arrangements at all passenger processing points.The airport, shut for regular commercial operations from March 22, has so far handled three evacuation flights.

Mumbai, (Asian independent) The Covid-19 situation continued to be grim in Maharashtra with 14 deaths and a stupendous 778 new cases on Thursday, health officials said here.

With these, the state’s total fatalities shot up from 269 on Wednesday to 283and 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 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 fresh 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 day, 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 at a distant second slot 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 the reduce the doubling rate of Corona 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 informed 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.