Another person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Maharashtra, taking the number in the state to 32 and the total number of cases across the country to 109. Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dialled Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to discuss the growing number of cases and the Mumbai police have imposed prohibitory orders banning large gatherings as a preventive measure against the virus.
In the evening, state health minister Rajesh Tope said five people have tested positive in Mumbai, seven in Pune, eight in Pimpri, four in Nagpur and one each in Raigad, Thane, Kalyan, Navi Mumbai and Aurangabad. Another 75 people suspected to have contracted the virus, are admitted at the isolation wards of various hospitals, he added.
All the patients are stable, no one is severely ill or in a critical condition, the minister said.
"This disease is infectious though mortality rate is low. So schools, colleges, theatre, museums, gyms and pools have been closed across Maharashtra. We have requested to the MPSC (Maharashtra Public Service Commission) board that exams should be postponed," he added.
The state, he said, is trying to increase the total number of beds at Mumbai's Kasturba hospital from 80 to 125. At the same hospital, the laboratory capacity to test samples will be expanded from the current 100 per day to 350 per day.
New laboratories will also come up at JJ Hospital and Mumbai-based Haffkine Institute and a hospital in Pune in the next 15-20 days. A decision has already been taken in this regard. "Orders will be issued either on Monday or Tuesday and the facility will be ready within 15-20 days," he added.