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Maharashtra continues to grapple with a surge of covid -19 as it recorded its highest-ever single day spike of 43,183 new COVID-19 cases.

The state also witnessed a grim record of most fatalities due to covid-19 in a single day which stood at 249. The number of active cases in the state is 3,66,533.

The total number of cases since the start of the covid-19 pandemic reached 28,56,163 and the total number of people who recovered from it 24,33,368 with 32,641 people recovering in the last 24 hours.

With the addition of 249 fatalities due to covid, the total number of people who succumbed to it stands at 54,898.

Mumbai today reported the highest-ever single day spike 8,646 new covid-19 taking the tally of infections to 4,23,360.

Nagpur district in Maharashtra on Thursday reported 3,630 new coronavirus cases and 60 deaths, authorities said.

With this, the district's caseload rose to 2,29,668, while the death toll went up to 5,158, the District Information Office said in a release.

Out of the total number of fatalities, 3,283 were from Nagpur city and 1,875 from rural parts of the district, it said.

As 2,928 coronavirus patients got discharge from hospitals on Thursday, the recovery count grew to 1,84,537.

The number of active cases in the district is 39,973.

Maharashtra added 6,51,513 COVID-19 cases in March this year, which accounts for 88.23 per cent of the total number of cases reported in the previous five-month period, according to official data.

Between October 1 last year and February 28, 2021, the state recorded 7,38,377 cases of coronavirus.

The data shows the increased pace of the viral infection in March 2021 compared to previous months.

One of the main reasons for it is the people not following "COVID-appropriate behaviour", say experts.

Many people are not maintaining social distance and do not wear masks, exposing themselves to the infection, they say.

"There have been several discussions among state officials and ministers about increasing the fine amount for people not wearing masks. It could put some pressure, but the government does not want to use an iron fist to ensure people adhere to the guidelines," a member of the state COVID-19 task force told PTI.

However, another senior state health official said people cannot be pressurised after a certain limit.

"The labour class (low income group) in the state is desperate to go out to work. Same is the situation with micro, small and medium industries. They are labour-dominated sectors and we cannot stop people from travelling," she said.

Another government health official said hygiene is a "delicate and lifestyle-related issue" and its definition varies from person to person.

People get irritated if you insist on washing hands every time they go out of their workplace or office, he said.

"It is the case of either an utmost level of hygiene or nothing. One incident of delaying washing hands or not covering face sufficiently can lead to the coronavirus infection, the official said.

But, living under such constant fear also leads to other psychological complications, another official said.

"We have observed people following COVID-appropriate behaviour for one week to three weeks and later becoming careless. That is the time when they catch the infection," she said.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter to Maharashtra's chief secretary recently pointed out similar reasons.

He had also expressed the need for surveillance of COVID-19 patients who do not follow home quarantine protocols.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope recently said people should be ready for stringent measures in the coming days to curb the spread of COVID-19 and that imposing a lockdown is the last option for the state government.


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