Mumbai: For the second time this month, Maharashtra's new Covid-19 cases shot above the 7,000 mark while Mumbai deaths also crossed 7,000, officials said here on Friday.
Maharashtra recorded a sudden spike of 7,862 new Covid cases on Friday, a significant increase from the previous one-day highest count of 7,074 cases notched on July 4.
The number of fatalities in the state Friday soared in the high ranges - going up from the July-lowest of 125 to 226 - but remained below the previous day's top toll of 295 notched on July 4.
With today's 226 fatalities, the state death toll climbed from Thursday's 9,667 to 9,893 Friday and the total cases zoomed up to 238,461 till date, both being the highest in the country.
For the second day, Maharashtra's total Covid cases continued to exceed South Africa's figure of 238,339 cases, ranking 13 as per the Worldometer data.
With Friday's figures, there was one death recorded roughly every 6 minutes and a stupendous 328 new cases notched every hour in the state.
Against this, the recovery rate in the state improved marginally from 55.19 per cent to 55.62 per cent Friday, while the mortality (death) rate stood at 4.15 per cent.
The health department said of the total number of cases declared till date, 95,647 are active cases (ill) Friday - and this number is lower (favourable) vis-a-vis the number of patients cured, indicating a positive sign.
On the positive side, 5,366 fully cured patients returned home Friday - taking the number of those discharged to 132,625 now - considerably higher than the 95,647 active cases currently in the state.
Of the total 226 fatalities in the state, Mumbai alone accounted for 73 deaths, pulling up the city toll from 5,132 to 5,205 now, while the number of Covid-19 positive patients in the city shot up by 1,337 cases to touch 90,461.
Besides Mumbai's 73 deaths, there were 53 fatalities in Thane, 37 in Pune, 10 in Palghar, 9 each in Raigad and Aurangabad, 7 in Jalgaon, 5 each in Nashik and Solapur, 4 in Dhule, 3 in Buldhana, 2 in Amravati, 1 each in Ratnagiri, Sangli, Kolhapur, Jalna, Hingoli, Parbhani, Latur and Washim, besides one from another state.
With a spate of cases and fatalities, the Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation Municipal Commissioner Vijay Suryawanshi warned that henceforth, anybody sent to isolation found loitering outside would attract criminal action.
Home Minister Anil Deshmukh chaired a high-level meeting and announced that anybody found indulging in hoarding or black-marketing of essential Covid-19 medicines like Remdesivir would face criminal action even as police intensified efforts to track such culprits.
The MMR (Thane Division) remains on edge as deaths spiral and cases pile up, crossing the 7,000 level with a total of 7,063 Covid-19 fatalities and a staggering 4,513 new patients, pushing up the number of cases to 164,175 Friday.
Thane cases have touched 57,138 with 1,536 fatalities - to emerge as the second worst-hit district after Mumbai in the state.
Pune district continues to surge ahead by notching 35,232 patients and shot above the 1,000 mark from Thursday's 989 to touch 1,026 deaths till now.
The Pune Division (comprising Pune, Solapur and Satara districts) - which has recorded 1,424 deaths and 40,412 patients - remains behind MMR and Thane district.
The next major region of concern is Nashik Division with 699 fatalities and 14,211 positive cases, followed by Aurangabad Division with 366 deaths and 9,076 cases, and finally Akola Division with 159 fatalities and 3,530 cases.
Kolhapur Division has notched 65 deaths and 2,698 patients, Latur Division had 66 fatalities and 1,658 cases, and finally Nagpur Division recorded 23 deaths and 2,526 cases.
Of the eight divisions in the state, only Nagpur Division did not report any fatalities Friday, besides Chandrapur and Bhandara remain the only two districts (out of total 36) with zero Covid deaths so far, though all have notched fresh cases.
Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home-quarantine increased from 649,263 to 674,025 Friday, while those in institutional quarantine went down from 48,191 to 46,560 on Friday.