1. Maha Jumps From 1,000 Virus Cases to 2,000 in Six Days
Maharashtra doubled its tally from 1,000 to 2,000 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in six days as it recorded its biggest 24-hour jump in cases with 352 more patients on Monday, taking the number of infected people in the state to 2,334. The state recorded 11 deaths on Monday, the health department said, taking the toll to 160.
The Maharashtra government on Monday also officially extended the lockdown, which was to end at midnight on 14 April, till 30 April. On Saturday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had already said the state would extend the lockdown. The state government is also looking at allowing micro-, small- and medium- enterprises (MSMEs) to start operations in districts that are not affected or less affected by the outbreak. A proposal for allowing industries is being prepared by the state industries department. However, the state has not taken a call on colour-coding districts based on the severity of cases and relaxing curbs in regions that are not much affected.
2. Maharashtra: Committee to Analyse Each Death
A five-member committee constituted by the state government met on Monday to frame procedure and guidelines for analysing each COVID-19 death in Maharashtra. The state’s death rate stands at 6.8 percent, among the worst-hit in India. In Mumbai, which accounts for 60 percent of deaths in the state, a separate nine-member committee has been set up to frame a treatment protocol for critical patients in a bid to save more lives.
Dr Archana Patil, chairman of the state committee, said, “We will be analysing each death in the state except for those occurring in Mumbai. For Mumbai, a separate death audit team has been formed.” The five-member committee met in Pune to decide how a COVID-19 death would be certified, underlying factors leading to death and how critical management can improve.
3. ‘Weaponised by Political Class to Destroy Dissent, Polarise People,’ Anand Teltumbde in Open Letter
A day before he is to surrender before a special court in Mumbai, activist Anand Teltumbde on Monday wrote an open letter to the people of India, stating that the “jingoist nation and nationalism have been weaponised by the political class to destroy dissent and polarise people”.
Teltumbde has been named as an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, which the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has recently taken over from the Pune Police. He had sought more time from the SC for surrendering citing the COVID-19 pandemic. Going to jail at the time of COVID-19 is “virtually a death sentence”, the plea had said.
4. Six More Staffers at Sushrusha Hospital Test Positive
Two doctors and four nurses of Dadar-based Shushrusha Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19 Sunday. So far, eight staffers of the hospital have been afflicted by the infection. After two nurses from the hospital tested positive on 10 April, the BMC had directed the hospital to stop new admission and put 28 other nurses on quarantine and sent their samples for tests.
On Sunday, the BMC shifted 100 hospital staffers to a civic-run quarantine centre at Dharavi and its doctors to Mahim’s Sai hospital. However, after complaints of inadequate facilities all staffers and doctor were shifted to a quarantine centre at Ruparel College hostel where they are set to undergo tests for the virus. Currently, the hospital has closed its OPD and stopped new admissions.
5. IIT-Bombay Designs Online Platform to Track Availability of Personal Protective Equipment
A group of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) have designed an online platform, PPETracker, to track the requirement and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as the details of manufacturers producing the kits, in real time. The team aims to connect the supply and demand chain of PPE after a thorough verification process to provide the required equipment to hospitals on time.
The platform highlights hospitals and medical colleges requiring PPEs as red spots on Maharashtra’s map. By clicking on the spots, one can see the units of items required. At the same time, the map also shows places where these items are being manufactured on small and large scales. Both spots will have contact details so that the demand and supply chain is made easy.