8 districts of the Marathwada region have reported 1,111 cases during the past 24 hours which is said to be the highest number of cases the region has reported in a long time. Marathwada’s Aurangabad district has reported a sudden uptick in the COVID-19 cases by registering 459 fresh new positive cases taking the overall tally to 52,103. According to the officials, 5 patients succumbed to the infectious disease which increased the district’s death toll to 1284. The district had a total of 2,910 active cases till March 5th. The official also added that a total of 179 patients were discharged from hospitals on Friday taking the recovery count to 47,909.
Meanwhile, Astik Kumar Pandey, Aurangabad Municipal Commissioner gave a statement saying the administration has been closely monitoring the situation. The commissioner also added that in the past the district was able to manage a sudden surge in rising cases due to the nationwide lockdown. However, as there is no lockdown period anymore, it remains a challenge for the district to manage the numbers. Cases in other districts of Marathwada have also seen a sudden surge with Jalana reporting 202 cases, Beed a total of 97 cases, Latur 108 cases, Nanded 128 cases, Hingoli 46 cases and Parbhani 47 cases.
The news of Marathawada reporting 1,111 cases in 24-hours came amid Marathawada’s state Maharashtra on Friday registered 10,216 fresh COVID-19 cases in 24-hous. The state crossed the 10,000-new cases mark for the first time in 2021. While the overall cases tally touched 21,98,399, the death toll also climbed to 52,393 due to 53 new deaths on Friday.
The Director of Medical Education and Research, Maharashtra, Dr Tatyarao Lahane claimed that there is no need to panic. “The deaths have not risen, so we need to exercise caution such as increasing the number of tests and also focus on contact-tracing.” Lahane also said that if the surge in cases subsides after four weeks, it would indicate that the second wave of COVID-19 is not upon the state.
It should be noted that the sharp increase in daily COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra is not so sudden anymore. The state in the past few weeks has reported an alarming number of new cases and an uptick in the number of daily cases has become a trend now. In the past week, Maharashtra added around 7,000 cases on average. Only March 1 was considered an exception to this when the state recorded a small dip and recorded 6,397 fresh cases. Between February 28 and March 5, the state broke the 50,000-mark and added 51,612 new cases.
On February 28, Maharashtra recorded 8,283 infections. On the next day, and the first day of March, the tally dipped slightly and recorded 6,397 new cases. But the relief wasn’t to last for long as the state saw another rise and recorded 7,863 new cases. On March 3, the state reported 9,855 fresh cases and the March 4 number was 8,998. Yesterday, on March 5, the state reported its highest-ever surge in the cases since October 17, 2020, when the daily cases were registered at 10,259.
Due to the alarming increase in the cases, authorities are reportedly going to pass a call on whether another lockdown in districts like Amravati should be in place or not. For the past two weeks, several districts including Amravati are in complete lockdown with schools and educational institutes being closed.
Although Maharashtra has been reporting several thousand cases a day, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has gone on record to express his unwillingness to impose another state-wide lockdown. On March 28, when the cases were at a severe high, the Shiv Sena minister said, “I do not want to impose it but ‘majboori’ (helplessness) is also something.”
The Chief Minister in the past also urged people to go back to following COVID-19 norms and said it was up to people whether they want another lockdown or not. Mr. Thackeray added that if the citizens of his state continued with their casual approach, he would be forced to impose another lockdown.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra cabinet minister, Vijay Namdevrao Wadettiwar, said that the state government will be making a decision on restricting the timings of Mumbai locals which have been open to the Indian masses since February 1.