The Covid-19 situation appeared to worsen in Maharashtra with 22 corona deaths and a huge 811 new patients -- the highest since the previous high of 778 fresh cases on Thursday -- health officials said on Saturday.
With today's figures, the state's total casualties shot up from Friday's 301 to 323 today and the number of Covid-19 patients jumped from yesterday's 6,817 to stand at 7,628 today.
Twice this week, the state notched single-day high figures of 552 new cases, zooming to a new record of 778 on Thursday, and now catapulting to 811 today, creating huge concerns among the health authorities.
Of the total 22 deaths today, 13 were recorded in Mumbai, taking the total from 178 to 191 and the number of Covid-19 positive patients in the city shot up from yesterday's 4,447 to 5,049 -- marking the highest single-day jump of 602 new cases.
Pune district recorded 6 fresh casualties, besides one casualty each in Malegaon (Nashik), Dhule and Solapur. Pune City and Pimpri-Chinchwad metro areas have been sealed completely till April 27.
Among the casualties today, there were 16 men and 6 women, and nearly 59 percent of them suffered from other serious ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, heart problems and asthma.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (Thane Division) continued to cause worries with 211 Covid-19 deaths and 5,961 patients. The city's Dharavi slum pocket alone accounts for 241 patients and 14 casualties so far.
Pune Division follows at a distant second slot with 79 casualties and 1,105 patients.
The next worrying area is Nashik Division with 20 deaths and 215 positive cases, followed by Nagpur Division with one casualty and 110 patients.
On the positive side, 119 fully cured patients returned home today, taking the number of those discharged to 1,076.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar ruled out starting shops and establishments -- as per the Centre's latest directives -- in Pune region as the district continues to be in the Red Zone.
Though the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association President Viren Shah said its 1.40 million member establishments in Maharashtra are ready to resume businesses, the state government has not announced any decision to the effect so far.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the Microbiologists Society, India (MSI) President DR. A. M. Deshmukh has suggested a formula to be adopted post-lockdown to reduce the number of Covid-19 cases and casualties.
"All citizens above 60 and those in the high-risk category with health problems must be completely barred from going outdoors, isolated in their homes in cities or villages for the next three months," Deshmukh urged.
Meanwhile, the number of people in home quarantine shot up from yesterday's 119,161 to 125,393 and those in institutional quarantine reduced from 8,814 to 8,124 today, and the state's containment zones shot up from 512 on Thursday to 555 today.
As many as 8,194 surveillance squads have fanned out to survey a population of nearly 3.14 million around the state.