No foreign virus strain in Maharashtra

In its highest single-day jump since December last year, Maharashtra reported 6,112 new COVID-19 cases on Friday even as the State health department denied the presence of any new virus strain in the samples tested from Amravati, Yavatmal and Satara. The latest surge has taken the number of active cases to 44,765. Mumbai city, along with Pune, Nagpur and Amravati districts contributed to 40% of the surge.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope became the sixth Cabinet minister to test positive. His Cabinet colleagues Bacchu Kadu, Rajendra Shingne, Satej Patil, Anil Deshmukh and Jayant Patil had tested positive earlier. Senior NCP leader Eknath Khadse too had tested positive on Thursday.

Meanwile, speaking at the 391st birth anniversary celebrations of Chhatrapati Shivaji at Fort Shivneri in Pune Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that just as the warrior king fought battles with swords and shields, the face mask is the only shield in the fight against COVID-19.

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