Coronavirus scare: 33 new positive cases recorded in Maharashtra; death toll rises to 13

Published: Apr 01, 2020, 21:50 IST | IANS | Mumbai

The state has so far notched 13 Covid-19 deaths, including 9 in Mumbai, and one each in Palghar, Pune and Buldhana

This picture has been used for representational purpose only
This picture has been used for representational purpose only

A 6-day old male infant, his 26-year old mother, a policeman and a nurse were among the 33 new Covid-19 positive cases recorded in Maharashtra on Wednesday, taking the total number to 335, while one more person died in Mumbai, officials said.

The infant was born late at night on March 26 at a Chembur private hospital where a patient undergoing treatment was later found Covid-19 positive, the child's distraught father told IANS.

"We were asked to immediately leave the hospital which was being quarantined and the doctors refused to attend to us. But we refused to leave. The reports of my wife and our son came positive around midnight and since then we are at the Kasturba Hospital. We are requesting the government to ensure that proper care is given to our infant son," the wailing father said.

The Covid-19 death toll in the state shot up by two on Wednesday, taking the total to 13. The deceased included two men, 51 and 75, both from Mumbai with no history of foreign travel, health officials said.

Among the other patients found positive on Wednesday were a nurse and a patient from a well-known private hospital, a policeman, and a first case of a man infected from the heavily congested Dharavi -- notorious as Asia's biggest slum in central Mumbai.

The new patients on Wednesday include 30 from Mumbai and 2 from Pune besides one from Buldhana, with the state recording its highest spurt of 115 cases in the past 36 hours, from 220 to 335. Besides Mumbai and Pune, the other cases are in Thane, Sangli, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, Yavatmal, Buldhana, Satara, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Gondia, Jalgaon, Nashik, besides one from Gujarat.

The state has so far notched 13 Covid-19 deaths, including 9 in Mumbai, and one each in Palghar, Pune and Buldhana. The deceased include the state's youngest victim, a 40-year old suburban home-maker with no history of foreign travel, and a medico in his early 80s, said officials.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Health Minister Rajesh Tope have again appealed to the people to remain indoors and maintain social distancing.

"The 'war against coronavirus' has reached a crucial stage and this is the time to exercise extreme precautions. Please do not step out of your homes for your own safety," the CM pleaded.

Officials attributed the spike in cases on Tuesday to the Mumbai population density, especially in sprawling dingy slums with tiny tenements, which make up half of the country's commercial capital.

The slums house millions of people eking out an existence in cramped quarters, with common sanitation facilities, insufficient water supply and no open spaces or greenery, making them a potentially fertile ground for diseases with little or no scope for 'social distancing'.

To address the serious problem, Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi on Tuesday ordered requisitioning of all vacant premises like flats, buildings, hotels, lodges, clubs, ships, hostels, community halls, dharamshalas etc. to convert them into quarantine centres for low-risk or high-risk slum dwellers who have come in contact with Covid-19 patients.

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