With 2,490 new cases, Maharashtra on Saturday saw its confirmed covid-19 cases tally touch the 65,158 mark. Of these, 28,081 have fully recovered and 2,197 died due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
Presently, Maharashtra is the worst affected state in India as nearly 375 out of every 1000 confirmed covid-19 cases in the country emerge from here.
Of the total confirmed cases in the state, Mumbai municipal corporation area that comprised about 60% of confirmed cases, has become the epicentre of the pandemic in India.
As of Saturday, the financial capital of the country reported 38,442 confirmed cases, of which 20,845 were active cases, while 1,227 people had lost their lives to the deadly virus.
After Mumbai, Thane reported most number of cases at 9,123, with 5,968 active cases and 182 deaths. This was followed by Pune, which reported 7,537 cases with 3,658 active cases and 320 deaths.
In the wake of the pandemic, the government also announced penalties on consumption of tobacco, supari, pan-masala, gutkha and other tobacco substances, along with spitting and smoking, in all public places.
“Many communicable and fatal diseases spread because of spitting in public places. Considering that a pandemic like covid-19 also spreads through spits, this decision has been taken in public interest," the state public health department said in a statement.
Any person seen violating this order would be liable to a fine of ₹1,000 and a day of public service, if caught spitting/smoking in public places for the first time. Second instance of spitting/smoking by the same person will be liable to a fine of ₹3,000 and three days of public service, while the third instance will be liable to ₹5,000 fine and five days of public service, the state public health department notified.
“According to the various provisions under the Indian Penal Code, a punishment of up to six months, two years and fine or both can be asked to serve," it said.
Further, the patient doubling rate or the number of days it took for the count of cases to double in Maharashtra improved to 17.5 days on Saturday, compared to 15.7 days as of yesterday. The state conducted 4.33 lakh laboratory tests as of Saturday, taking the testing levels to 3,349 tests per million people against the national average of 2,523 tests per million.
Presently, there are 3,169 active containment zones, 5.52 lakh people are in home quarantine and 35,420 people are in institutional quarantine in Maharashtra. There are 72,681 beds available in the state, along with 43 government and 34 private laboratories for testing covid-19 suspects and patients.