After a gap of 75 days, Maharashtra on Thursday reported more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases, a sizable number of them coming from Akola and Nagpur divisions, a health department official said.
With 5,427 new cases, the caseload in the state rose to 20,81,520 while 38 fatalities took the death toll due to the pandemic to 51,669, he said.
The state had reported 5,229 infections on December 4, which had been followed by a gradual drop in cases.
The decline had prompted the state government to relax restrictions on movement and gatherings further, including the restrictions on travel by local trains in Mumbai.
But since the last week, the state is reporting increase in the daily numbers of infections, setting alarm bells ringing.
"Of 5,427 new cases, 38 per cent or 2,105 cases were reported from Akola and Nagpur divisions. Akola division alone reported 1,258 cases with Amravati municipal corporation reporting 542 and Amravati district 191," the official said.
As many as 2,543 patients were discharged, increasing the tally of recoveries to 19,87,804.
But the number of active patients too went up to 40,858. On February 2 there were 41,586 active cases, but the number had then fallen to as low as 31,000.
It began to increase since the beginning of last week, the official said.