Mumbai, March 23 (IANS) A COVID-19 patient from Philippines died here on Monday, taking the toll in Maharashtra to three, while positive cases shot up to 89, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said here.
Monday's is the biggest single-day spurt of positive cases -- from 53 on Friday to 64 on Saturday to 74 on Sunday and now 89 on Monday, the highest in the country.
The figure shot up even as the Health Minister warned that the state stood on the threshold of a 'multiplication stage' of the virus and emphasized the need for people to maintain 'social distancing'.
The deceased -- third victim in past five days in Mumbai -- was a 68-year-old male, who initially tested positive and later negative after apparently recovering.
He was admitted to the Kasturba Hospital 10 days ago and post-recovery when he tested negative, moved to a private hospital where he succumbed late on Sunday.
"The patient was a case of diabetes mellitus and asthma. He was admitted on March 13. He had developed acute renal failure and respiratory distress," the Kasturba Hospital said in a statement on Monday.
Among the new positive cases, 14 are from Mumbai and one from Pune, making the densely populated Mumbai-Pune belt as a critical area in the spread of coronavirus, rattling the state health authorities.
"The new cases include 8 close contacts or family members of earlier positive cases and 4 with travel history to affected countries," Tope said of the jump of 30 cases in just three days.
"This is the stage to exercise extreme precautions since we don't want to enter from Phase II to Phase III at any cost," Tope reiterated, urging people to strictly remain indoors as ‘isolation' is the key to battling the COVID-19 virus spread.
The test results of around 200 other suspected cases are expected shortly, as announced by Tope on Sunday.