The number of COVID-19 cases in Thane rose to 5,387 after 309 more people tested positive for the disease in the Maharashtra district on Saturday, officials said. The new patients included at least 12 children, in the age group of 1 to 12 years, the district administration said in a release. Among the new cases, 134 were reported from Thane city and 76 from Navi Mumbai township, it said. Besides, six more people succumbed to the disease, taking the district's death toll to 163, the release said.
Out of the total cases, Thane municipal limits have so far reported 1,891 cases, Navi Mumbai-1,561, Kalyan- Dombivali-730, Mira Bhayander-489, Thane Rural-267, Ulhasnagar-156, Badlapur-153, Bhiwandi-82, and Ambernath-58.
There was an increase of about 24 cases in Thane Rural, mostly from Sahapur area.
The neighbouring Palghar district has till now recorded 530 COVID-19 cases and 20 deaths, a release from the district administration said.
Thane Municipal Commissioner Vijay Singhal told reporters that the bed capacity for COVID-19 patients in the city will be increased to nearly 10,000 in a phased manner in the coming days.
In Bhiwandi, the powerloom industry resumed from Saturday after over two months, following permission provided by the district administration.
Thane Guardian Minister Eknath Shinde expressed concern over the rise in number of cases in Sahapur.
During a review meeting on Saturday, he asked officials to keep their differences aside and have a single-point programme of how to contain the disease in Thane.
BJP's Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Council Pravin Darekar toured parts of Thane district on Saturday and inspected facilities at various hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. He later told reporters that BJP's protest during the COVID-19 crisis was "not politically motivated", but it was against the present system of governance which has failed to contain spread of the disease.
"We have written several letters to the state government and suggested various measures, but it has not taken note of them," he claimed.
The state government did not provide good quality treatment to patients during the pandemic, he claimed, alleging that there was corruption in the system and he would raise the issue during next session of the Legislature.
Darekar said the Maharashtra government was providing free transportation facilities to outsiders/migrant labourers, then why the same should not be extended to "sons of the soil" to travel from one district to another in the state.
Meanwhile, NCP corporator from Thane Pramila Keni asked the civic officials to facilitate availability of more number of ambulances in Thane to cater to the needs of coronavirus patients.