Mumbai (Reuters) – India’s largest and richest state, Maharashtra, recorded its million coronovirus infection on Friday, which equaled it with Russia in the epidemic and thwarted attempts to convert India into a financial crisis. .
The case in the western state, home to the financial capital Mumbai, passed 1 million as the infection has recently been growing by about 20,000 a day. If it had been a country, the state would now rival Russia for the fourth-largest casseload worldwide.
The state’s growth of 130 million people has driven India’s COVID-19 boom, accounting for about one-quarter of the national total. India is likely to kill only 5 million cases behind the United States in the coming days.
With the virus coming unabated through Maharashtra’s urban and rural areas and state officials struggling to curb deaths, Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to revive the economy, which dipped 23.9% in the second quarter a year ago. are doing.
“Maharashtra accounts for about 15% of India’s GDP. Until Maharashtra returns to its feet, India’s prospects for economic recovery are bleak, ”said IDFC Institute chief Ruben Abraham, a policy think-tank.
Yet Maharashtra officials are unable to ease many restrictions in the state. Public transport, malls and other businesses remain depressed as the rest of India slowly returns to business.
Tata Consultancy Services Limited is home to several major industries including Reliance Industries Limited and HDFC Bank.
While commuter rail has resumed in cities around India, Maharashtra has shut down. In Mumbai – where packed trains define workdays – suburban train service has been stopped since March for all essential employees.
The resumption of public transport in the city this month will create a second wave, which will be “difficult to manage”, a research paper has been submitted to Mumbai authorities this week.
Indeed, the partial reopening of factories, local festivals and lockout fatigue in recent months in Maharashtra help explain the state’s COVID-19 boom, local health officials told Reuters.
Subhash Chauhan, a surgeon in Satara district, said, “People are tired after spending months at home and going out despite knowing that they may be infected.” “They are no longer taking coronoviruses seriously.”
The initial reopening of the state, which began in July, accelerated the spread to rural areas with less hits than previously, with Maharashtra’s disease surveillance officer Drs. Pradeep Avate said.
Till the middle of August there was not a single confirmed coronavirus case in Tini Rajevadi village. Recently, one in every four was testing positive for the virus. [L4N2FU3GS]
The festival, which contributed to Maharashtra’s transition, was an 11-day Mumbai festival last month for Lord Ganesha, the head of the Hindu elephant, with large numbers of people coming and going from his hometown.
Before the Ganesh festival, an average of 60 new cases were reported daily in the district. Now we are recording over 150, ”said an official in the coastal district of Ratnagiri.
COVID-19 is also fatal in Maharashtra, where it has confirmed 2.85% of the people, which is a national mortality rate of 1.68%. The death toll in Maharashtra exceeds 28,000, accounting for 37% of India’s total.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope defended the high caseload, saying that the state is conducting more tests than others and is becoming much more transparent.
“We never tried to hide the cases, because they are increasing,” Tope said.
Reporting of Shilpa Jamkhandikar and Rajendra Jadhav Editing by William Mallard and Angus McSwan