Maharashtra reported 6,603 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday to take the total number of cases in the worst-hit state to nearly 2.24 lakh, of which 91,084 are active cases and 1,23,192 those who have recovered from the virus.
Over 4,600 people were discharged on Wednesday after receiving treatment. The health department also said 198 deaths were recorded in the same time, taking the total number of deaths to 9,448.
State capital Mumbai, which was the worst-affected metro city till national capital Delhi took that dubious distinction, reported 1,347 new cases and 62 deaths on Tuesday, taking its total to nearly 90,000 cases and more than 5,000 deaths.
Dharavi, a coronavirus cluster in Mumbai that is spread across 2.5 square kilometres and is home to around 6.5 lakh people, reported just one case as it inches towards flattening the curve.
In an effort to contain the virus in Mumbai, the state government has altered its COVID-19 testing strategy by allowing people to undergo tests at designated private laboratories without a prescription by a doctor.
On Monday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, whose government has come under fire over its handling of the coronavirus crisis, said he was determined to quell the outbreak.
“We are all determined to end the coronavirus crisis. Citizens and big entrepreneurs are fighting shoulder to shoulder with the government. Everyone is working tirelessly and this will ensure success,” Mr Thackeray was quoted by news agency PTI.
Mr Thackeray’s government has extended the lockdown in the state till July 31, while issuing fresh guidelines for its “Mission Begin Again” – an attempt to balance virus containment with the need to relax restrictions and re-start a stuttering economy.
The phased lifting of lockdown included the re-opening of hotels, lodges and guest houses, with only 33 per cent occupancy, from Wednesday, so long as COVID-19 protocols are followed.
These include thermal scanning and compulsory use of face masks at all times. All staff must wear protective gear and the air conditioning must be kept between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius.
Across India the number of cases is nearing the 7.5 lakh-mark, mere days after it crossed seven lakhs. Apart from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi also have over one lakh cases each.