The number of daily new coronavirus cases in Maharashtra crossed the 30,000-mark on Wednesday with the state reporting 34,031 new infections, taking the count to 54,67,537, the health department said.

According to a health department statement, 594 Covid-19 deaths were also reported, which took the number of fatalities due to the respiratory disease to 84,371.

The statement said 51,457 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, pushing the number of recovered cases to 49,78,937.

The state is now left with 4,01,695 active Covid-19 cases.

On Monday, Maharashtra reported 26,616 new infections. Monday’s was the lowest single-day count since 30 March when the state had reported 27,918 infections.

Mumbai, which had been ravaged by the deadly second wave of Covid-19 in April, saw 1,350 new daily cases in a span of 24 hours. The city on Wednesday reported 57 deaths in a day.

Maharashtra has imposed lockdown-like restrictions to stem the growth of the virus in the state.

Mucormycosis has claimed 90 lives in Maharashtra so far

Meanwhile, as many as 90 people have died of mucormycosis, a rare but fatal fungal infection, in Maharashtra so far, state public health minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday.

The cases of mucormycosis, also called Black Fungus, have been on rise since the outbreak of coronavirus last year, though the minister did not mention any timeframe.

He also warned against indiscriminate use of steroids to treat COVID-19 patients.

“So far, 90 people have died due to mucormycosis in Maharashtra. It is serious….it should not be taken lightly,” he told reporters here.

“Indiscriminate use of steroids to treat COVID-19 patients should be avoided,” the minister added.

Factors such as severe diabetes and suppression of immune system also lead to people catching the infection, Tope said.

According to medical experts, steroids which suppress immune system make a patient vulnerable to catching the fungal infection.

“The Maharashtra government is prepared to tackle it and has prepared nine-page guidelines for doctors who treat mucormycosis patients. The guidelines also suggest preventive measures such as the use of sterilised or distilled water in humidifiers of oxygen supplying machines (in COVID-19 wards),” he said.

Compared to the first wave of coronavirus pandemic, there have been more cases of Black Fungus in the second wave, doctors have noted.

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