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Coronavirus News Live Updates: A senior member of the Maharashtra government’s Covid-19 task force has tested positive for coronavirus, news agency PTI reported on Thursday. He had been admitted to hospital last week. The task force of nine senior doctors was formed on April 13 in view of the increasing number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the state, especially in Mumbai.

The country’s worst-affected state, Maharashtra, on Wednesday recorded 5,537 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the total count to 1.8 lakh. With 198 deaths also recorded on the day, the toll crossed 8,000 as the state clocked 100 days of lockdown. With 1,487 new cases, and 73 deaths, Mumbai has touched a total of 79,145 positive cases and 4,631 deaths.

Meanwhile, India reported 434 deaths and 19,148 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. With this, the total number of infections Thursday crossed the 6 lakh-mark to reach 6,04,641, including 17834 deaths, 2,26,947 active cases, and 3,59,860 recoveries.

The pace of testing has picked up in these municipal corporation areas, as the number of cases in Mumbai stabilises. Thane Municipal Corporation was testing 700 to 800 samples a day until a month ago. Now it performs 1,000 to 1,100 tests per day. “We plan to touch 3,000 in a week,” said Commissioner Vipin Sharma. The testing strength has improved by over 40 per cent in Thane city over a month.

Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation used to test around 170 to 200 samples each day until May end. In a month, it has scaled up to 250 to 300 tests per day. While Mira Bhayander is now performing 350 to 400 tests per day, Bhiwandi Nizampur Corporation is testing 130 to 150 daily.

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Panvel, meanwhile, is conducting 150 tests per day, while it has the capacity to perform 250 tests. “Until a month ago, we performed 70 to 80 tests daily. In one month, we have conducted over 4,000 tests. We are also trying to start conducting rapid antigen tests,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Shinde.