Mumbai: Maharashtra recorded eight new Covid-19 deaths, including an 85-year woman - the oldest victim so far -- on Wednesday while the number of positive cases shot up by 117 to touch 1,135, officials said.
This takes the total number of Covid-19 deaths in Maharashtra to 72, up from 64 on Tuesday, with Mumbai alone notching 45 fatalities.
Among the Mumbai victims are a man and five women, including the 85-year-old, who died in Kasturba Hospital. A chronic asthma patient, she had been admitted on Sunday with fever, cough and breathlessness and succumbed along with causes of Covid-19.
Three of the other women - aged 46, 54, 59 - were admitted to KEM Hospital with identical complaints of fever, cough and breathlessness, and succumbed to Covid-19 plus certain other causes like diabetes and lung ailments. A 55-year old woman from Thane, with complaints of lung ailments, passed away in Babu Jagjivanram Hospital.
The sole man reported here on Wednesday was 64-year-old and was admitted to KEM Hospital on Tuesday with fever, cough and breathlessness besides chronic diabetes.
Pune followed with two deaths - a 44-year-old man with diabetes who passed away in Naidu Hospital and a 55-year-old man who died in Sassoon Hospital - taking the total death tally to 10, plus 183 positive cases till date.
In a positive development, while 117 new cases were reported on Wednesday, 117 fully cured patients have been discharged and sent home till date.
A whopping 34,904 persons are in 'home quarantine' and 4,444 are in institutional quarantine.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday urged people to visit only the designated centres of Covid-19 patients as per clinical criteria divided into three different categories.
The categories are: asymptomatic positive patients or suspects, symptomatic positive patients, and serious cases requiring advanced health management, and the BMC announced it would soon set up the centres accordingly.
Tope also rejected certain reports by a section of media claiming that Mumbai had entered Stage III of the Coronavirus pandemic, but warned that "the next one week will be critical" to contain further spread in the state.
However, he ruled out the need to seal off the congested Dharavi - Asia's biggest slum - which has seen two deaths and 13 positive cases, but where the lockdown has hardly made any visible impact.
In this regard, he said that as per Central guidelines, the government has implemented cluster containment in areas with maximum number of Covid-19 cases or casualties and set up 3,658 teams to survey over 1.10 million people in Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Palghar Buldhana, Nagpur, and other cities.
The state, in a significant move, made wearing of facial masks compulsory for Mumbai and Pune metropolitan regions with immediate effect until further orders to check the spread of Covid-19 in these two worst hotspots in the country.
The BMC plans to set up institutional quarantine facilities for more than 11,000 people in 24 wards in Mumbai, the worst-hit by Covid-19 in the country so far.
Among the new cases till Wednesday, 25 infectees are those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi last month, which has seen led to a spurt in Covid-19 cases across India.
The new cases in the state are: 8 from Latur, 6 from Buldhana and four from Pune, two from Ahmednagar and one each in Ratnagiri, Nagpur, Hingoli, Jalgaon and Washim.