With 31 infections, Maharashtra peaks coronavirus count in India; malls, schools closed

Mumbai: With new novel coronavirus cases being detected in Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur and Yavatmal, the number of confirmed infections in Maharashtra rose to 31 on Saturday. Late Saturday night, state disease surveillance officer Dr Pradip Awate informed that five persons from Pimpri-Chinchwad area near Mumbai had tested positive for the virus. Four of them had come in contact with a group which had returned from Dubai. Some members of this group have alredy tested positive. Another person had visited Thailand recently, Dr Awate added. It took the number of coronavirus patients in Pune area to 15 and that in Maharashtra to 31.

Health minister Rajesh Tope earlier on Saturday evening announced that shopping malls across the state will remain closed till month-end. Grocery stores which sell commodities of daily need will remain open, he said. The state government also issued a directive that all schools and colleges in areas of municipal corporations, municipalities and nagar panchayats shall remain closed till March 31.

Tope also said that examinations of classes one to nine will be postponed if they are being held currently, only the Std 10th and 12th board exams will take place as per the schedule. Four new patients of coronavirus were confirmed in Mumbai on Saturday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.

Of the new patients confirmed in Mumbai, one is resident of the city while others are from Kamothe, Vashi and Kalyan, all peripheral towns. All are admitted to Kasturba Hospital here and their condition is stable, BMC deputy director, health, Daksha Shah said.

Earlier in the day, two persons who had recently returned from Dubai were confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal city. Thus, so far across the state, fifteen coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Pune, eight in Mumbai, four in Nagpur, two in Yavatmal and one each in Thane and Ahmednagar. Some of the persons who tested positive have history of traveling to the United States, Dubai, France, the Philippines and Qatar, a health department statement said.

A 71-year-old man, who had returned from Saudi Arabia and was suspected to have coronavirus infection, died during treatment in Buldana district on Saturday afternoon. He was suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure. Minister Tope said it was not yet confirmed if the deceased was infected by the coronavirus.

Sixteen of the confirmed Covid-19 patients had returned from Dubai, four from USA, one each from France and the Phillipineswhile four had no foreign travel history but had come in contact with other infected persons, he said.


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