Maha Covid-19 death toll 20, total positive cases 423 (Intro Roundup)

Mumbai, April 2 (IANS) The Covid-19 death toll in Maharashtra shot up from 16 to 20 even as the number of positive cases rose by 88 – from 335 to 423 – on Thursday, officials said here.

Among the new cases registered are 54 from Mumbai, 11 from Pune, nine each in Thane and Ahmednagar, two in Aurangabad, and one each in Satara, Osmanabad and Buldhana, with the positive cases crossing the 400 mark in less than 24 hours from 335 on Wednesday.

The latest fatalities were all men – two aged 58 years, one 61 years and the last aged 63. One of them had other health complications like leukaemia and the other suffered from hypertension.

So far, 42 persons have fully recovered in the state and have been discharged from hospitals.

The city’s worst nightmare came true when at least two Covid-19 cases were reported from Dharavi — notorious as Asia’s biggest slum and world’s most congested district — in central Mumbai.

While a 53-year old man with no history of foreign travel has reportedly succumbed in a government hospital late on Wednesday, a 51-year old civic sanitation employee was found positive on Thursday, sending shockwaves throughout Dharavi.

Moving swiftly, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), accompanied with a police team, promptly sealed off the entire building No. 9 in Punjabi Camp, Sion-Koliwada area, amidst howls of protests and abuses.

Officials have so far chosen to officially play down the incidents ostensibly to prevent panic in Dharavi and rest of the city.

In another cause for concern, Health Minister Rajesh Tope announced that 1,400 persons who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi last month have been identified and process is on to track and quarantine them.

So far, around the test results of 46 persons who returned from the event have proved negative and the reports of the remaining 3 are awaited.

Besides, more than 200, including several foreigners, in different parts of the state are already under quarantine with complete protocols implemented.

The MCGM has also released a list of all its containment (quarantine) areas in the city to help the people and avoid these localities where either Covid-19 patients have been found or suspects are kept in isolation.

They include several residential complexes across the city which are now sealed with entry-exit barred for all till the isolation periods are over, while the civic body is fumigating various localities and housing complexes around Mumbai.

The state government has now opened around 3,500 temporary camps for housing migrant labourers across the state where they are getting food, accommodation and other basic needs till the lockdown period is over.

Early on Thursday, police detained around 325 migrants who attempted to sneak out of Maharashtra in container trucks to Rajasthan and further investigations are on.