Pune: Task Force Reconstituted To Tackle Rising COVID-19 Cases In Maharashtra

Covid 19 Update
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Pune, 26th December 2023: In response to the surge in COVID-19 cases, particularly the JN.1 variant, the Maharashtra government has reconstituted a special task force of specialist doctors. The initial task force was formed in April 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic to control the escalating number of patients. Now, with a renewed increase in cases, the state has organized a new task force to address the evolving situation.

Chaired by the former head of ICMR, Delhi, Dr. Raman Gangakhedkar, the task force includes esteemed medical professionals such as Lieutenant General Dr. Madhuri Kanitkar, Vice Chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik, and Dr. Suresh Karkarte, Director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research, B.J. Medical College, Pune, Dr. D. B. Kadam and Varsha Potdar from Kashibai Navale Medical College, Pune, also serve as members. The Commissioner of Health Services will act as the Member Secretary for the task force.

The primary objectives of the task force involve establishing patient management protocols for critically and severely ill COVID-19 patients. Additionally, the force will recommend the necessary specialist physicians and healthcare support staff requirements for critical care hospitals. It aims to ensure uniformity in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients by recommending appropriate medication protocols.

Public Health Minister Prof. Dr. Tanaji Sawant emphasized the significance of this task force in addressing the current surge in COVID-19 cases. The force is expected to play a crucial role in devising strategies to manage the growing patient population and ensure effective healthcare responses to the evolving situation.

Today, 37 new COVID cases were reported in the Maharashtra state while 11 got discharged. As on today (on 26th December 2023), there are 194 active cases in the state.

Tests done:

Today’s Test: 3670 Out of these, 557 RT-PCR Test & 3113 RAT Test done.


COVID Variant:

· At present dominant variant of COVID is Omicron XBB.1.16. Total 1972 cases were found to be 

              infected with this variant. There were 19 deaths reported among the cases of this variant.

Information about the JN.1 variant:

  • Till today 10 patients infected with JN.1 in the state.

      • The district and municipal corporation wise Distribution of patients are as below-


  Name of Districts/ Municipal Corporation – Patients  

  Thane M. Corporation – 5  

  Pune M. Corporation – 2  

  Pune Rural – 1  

  Akola M. Corporation – 1  

  Sindhudurg – 1     

· The patient from Pune had travel history to United states of America.

· All these patients were in home isolation.

· All these patients had mild symptoms and all these patients are recovered 


Since 1st Jan 2023, 134 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded. 70.90% of these deaths have occurred in individuals above 60 years of age, 84% of the deceased had comorbidities, 16% did not have any comorbidity.  

Hospital admission information on 25th Dec 2023 (Previous day report):

  • Active cases on on 25th Dec 23: 168
    • Home Isolation: 151 (89.9%)
    • Hospital admissions: 17 (10.1%)

• Non-ICU Hospital admissions: 11 (6.5%)

• ICU admission: 06 (3.6%)