Maharashtra, Mumbai, Pune Coronavirus News Live Updates: By this weekend, Maharashtra would have recorded over three lakh cases of the novel coronavirus. On Thursday, the state reported the highest single-day spike of 8,641 new infections, taking its tally to 2,84,281 cases. Mumbai has 97,751 cases, and is expected to breach the one lakh mark this week.
The death rate due to Covid-19 in Maharashtra dropped to less than 4 per cent for the first time in two months. Maharashtra on Thursday recorded 266 new fatalities, with the death toll touching 11,194. A week ago, the death rate was 4.22 per cent, and a week before it was 4.47 per cent. Mumbai’s death rate is at 5.6 per cent; higher than the state’s average.
In other news, former chief minister and senior Congress leader from Maharashtra Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar, 91, and poet-activist Varavara Rao have tested positive for the virus.
Municipal workers stand on a waterlogged street to keep commuters away from manholes, at Sion in Mumbai. (PTI Photo)
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government Wednesday partially lifted its freeze on development funds to help stimulate economic growth. In an order, the Uddhav Thackeray government said it would allow all departments to sanction new development works permissible under the Local Area Development fund allocated to legislators.
In another development, at least 40 doctors who had come to Mumbai from Kerala on the request of the Maharashtra government are returning to their state as civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has not paid their salaries. Fifteen have already left, and 25 are leaving today. The doctors from Kerala had been tasked with setting up a Covid-19 hospital in the city.
Farmers across Maharashtra say they are finding it difficult to offload their produce with the latest lockdown restrictions in Pune, Mumbai, Thane and Aurangabad. To stop the surge in Covid-19 cases, many municipal corporations and their neighbouring rural administrations have decided to impose a lockdown of 10-15 days.
The first phase of the lockdown will be exceptionally strict, with only milk and medical shops allowed to operate – in contrast to previous lockdowns when supply of vegetables was allowed.
Even if wholesale markets were closed in earlier lockdowns, Farmer Producers Companies (FPC) had continued to supply curated baskets in urban markets.
This closure of urban markets affects tomato growers like Deepak Bhise, who has been enjoying better prices for the last one month. Bhise, who is from Yedgaon in Junnar taluka of Pune, said the uncertainty in transport and markets had forced farmers to reduce their vegetable and tomato acreage, which had caused prices to improve in the last fortnight. “However, as the nearby urban markets of Pune and Sangamner are closed, we have to depend on traders from Mumbai, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to ensures prices do not crash,” he said.
Mumbai set to breach 1 lakh-mark this week
According to the state government data, Mumbai has recorded 17,442 coronavirus positive cases within a fortnight and it is estimated the city will breach one lakh-mark by this weekend.Until June end, MMR accounted for 50 per cent of the daily toll. Mumbai has recorded 70 deaths, followed by Thane rural and Thane city with 15 each, Bhiwandi Nizampur 12, Navi Mumbai 8, and Kalyan and Ulhasnagar with seven each. The MMR accounts for 7,174 deaths of the total 10,685 recorded in the state.