Mumbai : For the fourth consecutive day, Maharashtra's daily Covid-19 tally jumped to a new high of 20,489, surpassing the previous peak of 19,218 recorded on Friday, while 312 fatalities took the state's death toll past the 26K-mark, health officials said here on Saturday.
With 20,489 new cases, the state's total cases zoomed to 883,862.
Adding 312 more fatalities, lower than the all-time peak of 422 (August 18), the state's death toll shot up from 25,964 to 26,276 now.
There was one death roughly every 5 minutes and a staggering 14 new cases added every minute to the state tally.
The state's recovery rate decreased for the third day straight, from 72.51 per cent to 72.01 per cent, while the mortality (death) rate stood at 2.97 per cent on Saturday.
Against this, a significant number of fully recovered patients -- 10,801 -- returned home, taking the total number of discharged patients to 636,574 till date, considerably higher than the 220,661 active cases in the state.
Of the total 312 fatalities, Pune led the state with 44 deaths, followed by 33 in Mumbai, 31 in Nagpur, 22 in Thane, 18 in Kolhapur, 16 each in Nashik, Ahmednagar and Nanded, 13 in Satara, 11 in Sangli, 9 each in Raigad and Aurangabad, 8 in Solapur, 7 each in Jalgaon, Latur and Yavatmal, 6 in Osmanabad, 5 in Dhule, 4 each in Palghar, Beed, Wardha, Bhandara and Chandrapur, 3 each in Jalna, Parbhani and Akola, 2 each in Ratnagiri and Buldhana, and 1 in Nandurbar, besides 2 from other states.
The day's highlights included a sharp spike in fatalities in Nagpur, Kolhapur, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Nanded and Satara, even as five districts in the state reported zero deaths.
In a significant move, Health Minister Rajesh Tope ordered that private hospitals will need to first audit their bills before giving them to patients for payment. This is expected to largely resolve the complaints of fleecing by some of the private sector hospitals.
With 33 fatalities, Mumbai's death toll increased to 7,832 and the number of corona cases increased by a staggering 1,737 to touch 153,712.
Of the total 8 circles, the Mumbai circle (MMR comprising Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad) remains on the brink as deaths spiral and cases pile up, with the fatalities shooting up by 68 from 13,156 a day earlier to 13,224 and with 4,863 new infectees, the total cases shot up from 351,459 the previous day to 356,392 now.
Pune district's Covid cases touched 194,559 till date with the fatalities increasing from 4,333 a day earlier to 4,377 now.
Thane district is on the third spot with 140,991 cases and 3,935 deaths.
With 65 more fatalities, the Pune circle's (comprising Pune, Solapur and Satara districts) death toll increased to 5,616 while the total cases zoomed by the highest ever single-day tally of 6,306 to 234,468 now.
Nashik circle recorded 2,526 fatalities and 111,276 cases, followed by Kolhapur circle's 1,475 deaths and 49,368 cases, and Aurangabad circle with 976 fatalities and 34,442 cases.
Nagpur circle recorded 973 deaths and 45,862 cases, Latur circle had 893 fatalities and 31,100 cases, followed by Akola division with 513 deaths and 20,113 cases.
Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home quarantine increased from 14,51,343 to 14,81,909 now, while the number of those in institutional quarantine went up from 36,873 to 37,196 on Saturday.