Covid second wave: 56,286 new cases in Maharashtra; bed shortage in Nagpur.

Covid second wave

Maharashtra Covid-19 cases update: Maharashtra reported 56,286 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, which took its caseload to 32,29,547, while 376 deaths due to the infection pushed the toll to 57,028, the health department said. On Wednesday, the state had recorded the highest daily count of 59,907 cases and 322 fatalities.

Maharashtra is among the fastest-growing states in the country in terms of caseload.

With Covid-19 vaccine stock over, at least 25 of 120 private vaccination centers in Mumbai were shut on Thursday. By Friday, the numbers will double and from Saturday, Mumbai will be forced to completely stop vaccinations if stocks are not replenished, said officials, adding that the city is left with less than a lakh doses. Hospitals like Fortis, SL Raheja, Breach Candy, SRCC, Parsee General, and Holy Family hospital turned away eligible beneficiaries on Thursday.

Swab testing by health workers at Juhu beach in Mumbai. (Express photo by Amit Chakravarty)

An analysis of bed availability in eight cities shows that vacancy for oxygen, ventilator, and ICU beds is only between 3 to 18 percent. Nagpur is the worst affected. On Thursday, it had only three ventilator beds left.

Even though municipal corporations are working overtime to increase bed capacity in these cities, the rising caseload makes patients face an uphill task in accessing beds for treatment. Mumbai on Thursday had 16.9 percent oxygen, ICU, and ventilators available, down from 17.9 percent. Pune’s bed vacancy dipped from 14.3 to 13.3 percent and Nashik saw the steepest drop in a day, from 20 to 18.2 percent.

A day after a heated exchange of words between Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Maharashtra over the latter’s demand for more vaccine stock, the Centre Thursday increased the state’s allocation to 17.43 lakh doses — from 7.43 lakh it had been assured on April 1. Kerala’s supply was also scaled up, from 4.74 to 7.74 lakh doses. The fresh stock is expected in the next few days.

However, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the stock will still be insufficient. An order by the Union Health Ministry, accessed by The Indian Express, shows that 350 lakh Covishield doses are to be distributed in the coming days — Uttar Pradesh will receive 44.98 lakh doses, Madhya Pradesh 33.76 lakh, Karnataka 29.06 lakh, Haryana 24 lakh, West Bengal 21 lakh, Maharashtra 17.43 lakh, and Gujarat 15.57 lakh.