Maharashtra, Mumbai, Pune Coronavirus News Live Updates: The number of COVID-19 cases in Aurangabad in Maharashtra reached 31,085 after 317 cases were detected in the last 24 hours, while 13 deaths during this period took the toll to 879, PTI quoted an official as saying. A total of 24,286 people have been discharged so far, including 301 in the last 24 hours, leaving the district with 5,920 active cases, he added.
With Maharashtra reporting a record number of 32,007 recoveries from COVID-19 infection on Monday, the total number of recoveries in the state has reached 9,16,348. The recovery rate stands at 74.84 per cent, while the fatality rate is 2.7 per cent. The state recorded 15,738 new cases on the same day pushing the total count of infections in the state to 12,24,380. With 344 people succumbing to the infection, the cumulative toll crossed the 33,000 mark and reached 33,015. The state now has 2,74,623 active cases.
In another coronavirus-related news, three days after the state health secretary wrote to all districts to judiciously use medical oxygen and hinted at possible pilferage, an uproar from the medical community forced the Maharashtra government to issue a clarification on Monday stating “there is no intention of state government to ration/ restrict consumption of oxygen by any patient”.
Meanwhile, Mumbai and Thane are likely to receive heavy rain on Tuesday with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing a red alert with a forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall (between 64 mm to 204.4 mm in 24 hours) at isolated places.
Maharashtra, Mumbai, Pune coronavirus LIVE updates: Covid-19 tests at a Municipality dispensary in Nimoni Baug in Mumbai. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)
Maharashtra, Mumbai, Pune coronavirus LIVE updates
Currently, of daily 90,000 tests Maharashtra is conducting, RT-PCR contributes to two-third (50,000) and rapid antigen tests accounts for one-third. State plans to notch up from 90,000 to 1.50 lakh tests per day in a few days. For that, half of tests will have to be rapid antigen as capacity for RT-PCR is 80,000 in 166 laboratories.
A shortage of testing kits has also put pressure on RT-PCR tests in multiple districts. In Beed, which can test 1,200 samples each day, a shortage of kits has forced the district to test only 200 samples per day and rely on rapid antigen for remaining samples. “The shortage has been since the last 20 days. ICMR is slowly stopping supply of kits, and the state is procuring on its own. We have asked state authority for kits,” a district health official said.
Medical Education Secretary Saurabh Vijay, however, said the state has stock for a month. “There is no shortage of testing kits. If a district exceeds its capacity, samples can be sent to the adjoining district. We have asked labs to have a turn around time of 24 hours for the report,” he said.
RT-PCR is considered the gold standard for Covid-19 testing, while antigen test has more scope for false negatives even if a person is Covid-19 positive. If a symptomatic person tests negative for Covid-19 through rapid antigen, a RT-PCR is recommended but in several cases a second test is not conducted. Inspired by Karnataka, the public health department has issued a notification to take two swabs instead of one from symptomatic patients, and process it for RT-PCR immediately if the antigen test comes negative.