Mumbai reported the highest COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period on Thursday, government data shows. The financial capital reported 8,646 cases of COVID-19 infection in the last 24 hours, making it the highest one-day spike since the pandemic reached the city early last year. 18 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
COVID-19 cases have been rising fast in Maharashtra and the state has been taking steps like enforcing safety guidelines more strictly. The Maharashtra government on Wednesday brought down the rates of coronavirus RT-PCR tests to Rs 500 from Rs 1,000. The charges for rapid antigen tests were also brought down.
The head of Maharashtra's COVID-19 task force Dr Sanjay Oak on Thursday said that a COVID-19 patient can infect 400 people, and hence, there is no alternative to wearing masks, hygiene and social distancing.
Mr Oak told reporters a new range of symptoms such as common cold, mild body ache and fatigue have emerged in COVID-19 patients in the state.
"The coronavirus infection generally spreads through our nose. One COVID-19 patients can infect at least 400 people. Hence, there is no alternative to wearing mask, hygiene and social distancing," the senior health official said, news agency PTI reported.
Hit by a second wave of Covid, Maharashtra has stepped up restrictions in the last few weeks to check the spread of virus, including a state-wide night curfew. After Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked officials last week to prepare for a possible lockdown if the cases continue to rise, some state ministers and the BJP have said other options should be considered.
Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh continue to show a steep rise in daily new cases, accounting for 84.61 per cent of the new cases reported in a span of 24 hours, the Health Ministry said.