Maharashtra adds 39,544 new cases, 227 deaths

Active case tally crosses 3.50 lakh mark; RT-PCR testing now to cost only ₹500, says Rajesh Tope

Maharashtra posted its second-highest single-day spike ever on Wednesday, reporting a surge of 39,544 new COVID-19 cases as its active case tally breached the 3.50 lakh mark to reach 3,56,243.

An alarming fatality spike of 227 deaths (129 of which were reported in the last 48 hours while the rest were from an earlier period) pushed the death toll to 54,649.

As many as 23,600 patients were discharged. The State’s recovery rate dipped to 85.34%. A record-high 1.67 lakh samples were tested in the last 24 hours as well.

While the total case tally has touched 28,12,980, the cumulative recoveries stand at 23,77,127.

“Of a total 1,96,25,065 laboratory samples tested thus far, 28,12,980 (with the average case positivity rising to 14.21%) have returned positive with over 1.67 lakh samples being tested in the last 24 hours,” State Surveillance Officer Dr. Pradeep Awate said, adding that the State’s case fatality rate had incrementally dipped to 1.94%.

Given the increased emphasis on testing, Health Minister Rajesh Tope announced on Wednesday that the rates for COVID-19 tests performed in private laboratories in the State had been revised once again and that henceforth, only ₹500 would be charged for RT-PCR testing.

In addition, the rate of rapid antigen antibody testing has also been reduced to ₹150.

“Against the backdrop of increased cases, the State government has been continually revising rates of testing in private laboratories. It has so far revised the rates of these tests at least five to six times — from ₹4,500 to ₹500,” Mr. Tope said.

As per a directive issued on Wednesday by the State Health Department, revised rates of ₹500, ₹600, and ₹800 have been fixed for RT-PCR tests.

“A patient will be charged ₹500 for taking the sample from the collection centre and reporting it, while ₹600 will be charged for sample testing and reporting from the laboratory at the hospital, COVID-19 care centre, and quarantine centre, and ₹800 for sampling and reporting from the patient’s residence. No private laboratory in the State can charge more than this ceiling,” said Dr. Pradeep Vyas, principal secretary, Health Department.

Pune district clocked a record surge of more than 8,500 new cases to take its total case tally to 5,36,262. As per the State Health Department figures, 31 deaths were reported as the fatality toll rose to 8,325. As per district authorities, the active case tally has crossed the 62,000 mark while the death toll is nudging 10,000.

Mumbai reported another massive surge of 5,399 new cases, taking its total tally to 4,14,773 of whom 49,953 are active. As many as 15 fatalities took the city’s death toll to 11,690.

Cases continued to mount in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, with the Kalyan-Dombivli civic body recording 913 cases to take its total tally to 83,813. No deaths, however, were reported.

Nagpur district in Vidarbha added more than 3,000 cases as its total cases climbed to 2,30,187 of whom 46,333 are active. As per the State Health Department figures, the district reported 49 deaths to take its fatality count to 3,859.

Aurangabad in Marathwada logged more than 1,300 new cases to take its total tally to 83,917 of whom 19,466 are active. A single death took the death toll to 1,342.

Nanded in Marathwada registered more than 1,300 cases and 22 deaths to take its total case tally to 43,245 of whom 12,268 are active while its death toll has risen to 772.

Nashik in north Maharashtra added 4,400 fresh cases, taking its total tally to 1,78,997 of whom 33,442 are active while nine deaths pushed its fatality toll to 2,222.

Neighbouring Jalgaon, too, peaked, reporting more than 1,100 new cases and nine deaths, taking its total cases to 85,443 of whom 6,464 are active while its death toll went up to 1,596.

Dr. Awate said that currently, 17,29,816 people across the State were in home quarantine and 17,863 were in institutional quarantine facilities.

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