Mumbai News

Maharashtra: Solapur overtakes Jalgaon, Mumbai as district with highest Covid-19 mortality percent – Times of India

MUMBAI: Solapur has replaced Jalgaon to become the district with the highest Covid-19 case fatality rate (CFR) in Maharashtra, at almost 7%. Hit by a sudden deluge of cases — 200-300 detections daily and a 43% rise in deaths since July 1 — the government and the local administration are scrambling to bring down mortality numbers in the region, which is known for its textile units and bidi industry. What is emerging as a grave problem is the exceptionally high death rates among those working in these industries. This is in large parts because of their pre-existing lung ailments due to years of exposure to toxic substances.
“The mortality rate has been around 15-20% among textile and bidi workers. We have therefore started intensive screening to pick them up early,” said P Sivasankar, commissioner, Solapur Municipal Corporation. A screening drive targeting 10.5 lakh people has brought forth 1.1 lakh people with comorbidities. Health minister Rajesh Tope, along with NCP chief Sharad Pawar, had on Sunday visited Solapur, along with a team of Pune doctors to review the situation. The team found that the district was in need of 400-500 trained medical personnel, the lack of which was affecting the outcome in ICUs. “A single nurse has been seen manning ICUs with 35-40 critical patients,” a source said.CM Uddhav Thackeray also took a review of the Covid situation in Solapur and directed the administration to increase isolation and quarantine capacities and also to implement the ‘chase the virus’ policy, which had shown results in Mumbai.

Dr Subhash Salunkhe, a member of the task force that visited the district on Sunday, said that people were too scared to come to hospitals. “Late detection is a big problem there, but it’s slowly changing,” he said. Alarmingly, in April and May, one in three deaths occurred within 24 hours of hospitalisation. “That percentage dropped to 18% in June and 5% in July,” said Sivasankar. “With the roping in of private hospitals, things have improved.”
Meanwhile, Jalgaon’s CFR, which was the state’s highest in June, at 10%, has dropped to almost half. District collector Milind Shambharkar said nearly 900 cases were detected there due to antigen tests and cases suddenly went up after June 3, when unlocking was announced. The recovery rate of the district is 55% and over 2,700 people have been discharged.
As the epicentre shifted from Mumbai, newer pockets have begun emerging. Five districts — Ahmednagar, Latur, Parbhani, Washim and Wardha — have seen a 200% jump in cases, while 17 have seen a 100% rise in July. Districts like Gadchiroli, Washim and Wardha have a doubling rate of 10 days or less.