Maharashtra reports Covid-19 spike with 10,066 new cases in a day; Minister says a 'cause of concern'
Mumbai, June 23: Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 10,066 new Covid cases and 163 deaths in the last 24 hours, after a gap of one week, taking its tally to 59,97,587, the health department informed on Wednesday.
The state has also reported 11,032 recoveries in the same period. With today's numbers, the number of active cases in the state has come down to 1,21,859.
However, today's infection number is significantly higher than what was recorded on Tuesday (June 22). On Tuesday, the state had reported 8,470 infection cases.
According to PTI, the surge in new infections could be because of an increase in number of tests in the city. In the last 24 hours, Mumbai conducted 37,905 tests, over 5,000 more than what was conducted in the previous day.
Health Minister Rajesh Tope said daily COVID-19 cases not falling below the 8,000-mark in Maharashtra is a matter of concern even as he observed that the study of the Delta Plus variant has indicated that it could be more virulent compared to the previous mutants.
Speaking to reporters, Tope said the cases are plateaued at 7,000 to 8,000 per day in the state now compared to the peak of 65,000 infections reported in a day in the past. "It is a matter of concern for the state as the number of fresh (daily) COVID-19 cases is not dropping below 8,000. In the last 7 to 8 days, the state has been adding around 7,000 to 8,000 new COVID-19 cases per day but the number is not going down," he said.
Tope said 21 COVID-19 cases of the Delta plus variant had been found so far in seven districts in the state.
"A separate hospital ward is formed for such patients, " he said. "These are the index cases of Delta plus variant and its severity could be higher. The study of this variant has indicated that it could be more virulent compared to the previous mutants," he said. He said 100 samples each from 36 districts of Maharashtra have been taken and sent for genome sequencing. "The total sample size is as big as 7,500," Tope added.
The new Delta Plus variant has been found in the US, UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, China and Russia. The new Delta Plus variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, first identified in India and one of the drivers of the deadly second wave. Though there is no indication yet of the severity of the disease due to the new variant, Delta Plus is resistant to the monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment for COVID-19 recently authorised in India. Some cases of the Delta Plus variant of COVID-19 have also been found in Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.
Meanwhile, the state administered more than 6 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines, setting a new single-day record of inoculating people against the infection, a top government official said. With this, the state bettered the record of administrating 5,58,639 vaccine doses on Tuesday.