Maharashtra on Sunday reported 5,544 Covid-19 cases, second day in a row of over 5,000 infections after three straight days of 6,000-plus, which took the tally to 1,820,059,

The state reported 85 deaths on Sunday, taking the toll past 47,000 to 47,071, at a case fatality rate (CFR) of 2.59%. Of the 85 fatalities, 39 were in the past 48 hours, 25 in the past week and 21 before the past week, the state health department has stated. There are now 90,997 active Covid-19 cases in the state.

In the past ten days, Maharashtra has scaled up its daily number of Covid-19 tests, at a daily average of 83,930, up from around 50,000 tests in the second week of November. The daily average of tests had dropped to 44,470 during November 11-17. So far, 10,804,422 tests have been conducted in the state, with a positivity rate of 16.85%.

In the past 24 hours, 82,224 Covid-19 tests were conducted in the state, with a positivity rate of 6.7%. On Saturday, 86,598 tests were conducted in the state; on Friday 88,627 tests were conducted.

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A senior officer from the state health department said, “The government is identifying ‘super-spreaders’ in the population, or people who have maximum social contact in the community, and is testing such people on priority. These include hoteliers, vendors, street vendors, state and city bus conductors, who are likely to come in contact with at least 10 to 15 people per day due to the nature of their occupation.”

Regarding further scaling up daily testing the in the state, the officer said “The government does not have a target as such, but plans to conduct enough tests to gauge even the slightest increase in cases in the state.”

State health minister Rajesh Tope said on Saturday that district authorities have been directed to go for aggressive testing in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. “We have asked them to conduct tests at their full capacity. We want to take the daily testing to 150,000 tests,” he said.

Despite the increase in daily tests, the number of Covid-19 infections reported daily has not seen a dramatic spike. The officer quoted above said, “The state’s daily positivity rate is hovering around 7%. The number of cases has shown some increase due to Diwali, but they have not increased proportionately to the increase in number of tests. In fact, before Diwali, Maharashtra had a daily positivity rate of around 10%.” State health officials have attributed this to people following Covid-hygiene to a “large extent”, and to herd immunity.

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In the backdrop of the success in containing the number of cases even after Diwali, the state authorities have hinted that there would not be another lockdown in the state. Tope said that he personally feels no need of any further lockdown, although they may think of imposing stricter restrictions on health protocol.

Maharashtra’s recovery rate is 92.36%. While 4,362 Covid-19 patients were discharged on Sunday, 1,680,926 patients have recovered in the state so far.

Mumbai on Sunday reported 940 new Covid-19 cases and 18 deaths, taking the total number of cases to 282,821, and total deaths to 10,865. There are now 15,615 active cases in Mumbai. Meanwhile, among the various corporations within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (excluding Mumbai), Kalyan-Dombivli reported 180 cases and three deaths, Navi Mumbai also reported 180 cases and four deaths, Thane city reported 161 cases and Thane rural reported 84 cases, while Panvel city 51 new cases.

Pune district reported 781 new cases. Of this, Pune city reported 237 new cases and 5 deaths, taking the total number of cases to 83,534, and total deaths to 1,949.

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