It is for the third day in a row that the state has reported over 15,000 daily cases.
The overall caseload in Maharashtra now stands at 23,14,413 while 50 fresh deaths have pushed the toll to 52,861, the health department said.
Meanwhile, 8,861 patients were discharged during the day, pushing the recovery count of the state to 21,34,072, it said.
Health ministry figures reveal that Maharashtra has in fact been the most dominant contributor in the rise in coronavirus cases in India.
On average, six out of every 10 new cases in India are being reported from Maharashtra every day.
Districts leading the surge
Cities like Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and Nashik are leading the current Covid surge in Maharashtra.
Mumbai continues to see record high numbers, with the city registering 1,963 new cases on Sunday, its highest daily count of the year.
Pune logged 1,780 fresh cases, Nagpur 1,976 and Nashik saw 946 new infections on Sunday.
Overall, the Mumbai division reported 3,676 cases, Nashik division 2,776, Pune division 3,609, Nagpur division 1,860, Latur division 914, Aurangabad division 1,289 and Kolhapur division 106.
Case fatality rate dipping
However, in a positive sign, the Covid fatality rate in Maharashtra continues to be on a decline despite a surge in number of cases.
While the number of cases has been rising rapidly — over 40% since March 1 — deaths have not.
State health officials believe that a lower death count indicates that the SARS-CoV-2 strain in circulation right now is weaker than the ones responsible for the deadlier peaks in May-June and September-October periods.
“Cases are rising but the case fatality rate has reduced. Last week, CFR was below 0.55%,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, who heads the epidemiology cell of the state health department.
“There is low virulence strain at work,” he added.
While the CFR in Maharashtra since March 2020 is 2.3%, it has been steadily dropping in the new year. In January, it was 1.7%, and 0.9% in February when cases started rising two- to three-fold in certain districts such as Amravati.
With the resurgence of virus causing alarm in the state, several districts have started taking measures such as imposing lockdowns or night curfew to curb the Covid spread.
Latur became the latest district in the state to impose restrictions. The district administration has announced a night curfew between 8pm and 5am and ordered the closure of all weekly markets till March 31.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray issued a “last warning” to hotel associations as he asked them to ensure strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols in their premises.
Speaking at a virtual meeting attended by representatives of hotel and restaurant associations, shopping centre groups, the CM said a “lackadaisical” attitude towards outbreak norms had crept in lately.
“Do not force us to impose a strict lockdown. Consider this as the last warning. Follow all the rules. Everyone has to realise there is a difference between self-discipline and restrictions,” Thackeray said.
(With inputs from agencies)