Maharashtra’s rising COVID-19 caseload has become a cause of worry as the state continues to contribute a high number of new infections, almost confirming the advent of a second wave in the state. On Sunday, March 14, India added 26,513 new cases to its daily count of corona cases, out of which Maharashtra contributed 16,620 to the daily tally, recording this year’s highest one-day spike. In the last two days, the daily case count has breached the 15k mark. With this new rapid rise, Maharashtra’s share of the overall tally of daily cases stands at 62% and the chances are that this number will only rise.
Another cause of worry is the spurt in active cases. Maharashtra's count of active cases has increased almost three times in just the last month. On February 14, the state had 35, 965 active cases. On March 14, the number of active cases breached the one lakh mark and now stands at 1,26,231 in just one month. On Sunday, Maharashtra’s contribution to India’s active cases stands at 58%.
Meanwhile, Pune remains the most-affected city not just in Maharashtra but in the country, followed by Nagpur and Mumbai. Pune city had witnessed a peak in September last year, after which the number of cases progressively declined until the second week of February. However, there has been a rapid rise in the cases after that. The city reported 3,259 cases on Sunday, March 14. The increase in the daily count has also led to a rise in active cases. On 5 February, the city had a total count of 5,222 active cases. Now the total number of active cases has increased five times with 25,673 active cases.
On Monday, Nagpur became the first city to go under lockdown this year and has been contributing more new cases than Mumbai. It has emerged as the biggest hotspot reporting more than 2000 cases.
In Mumbai, there is already a discussion on partial lockdown after new COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The city reported 1,963 new cases on Sunday.
Let's compare the daily case count of Maharashtra with other states. Along with Maharashtra, states like Kerala, Punjab, and Madhya Pradesh have also seen a sudden spike in daily cases. Punjab has been reporting more than 1,000 cases per day since last week, contributing around 5% to India’s daily cases tally. Kerala, which saw a sudden spike of daily cases and reached its peak in January this year resulting in 5,000 cases per day, is contributing just a 6 % share to the overall tally.
A central team of experts deployed to Maharashtra to review the surge in COVID-19 cases reported, on Monday, that the state is at the beginning of the second wave and there are glaring gaps in its effort to contain the rise. If India has to bring down its COVID-19 numbers, Maharashtra has to take a lead, or else the situation could get more drastic.