New Delhi: At least 778 fresh cases of coronavirus were reported in Maharashtra on Thursday with 14 deaths, taking the state’s total tally of the deadly infection to 6,427. Meanwhile, death toll in the western state stood at 283. Also Read - Meera Chopra Blames Lack of Medical Infrastructure And Not Covid-19 For Her Cousins Death

Notably, earlier this evening, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that his government’s full priority is to reduce the mortality rate of COVID-19 patients and increase the doubling period of the disease. Also Read - This Twitter User 'Predicted' Coronavirus in 2013 & People Are Freaking Out | Check Out His Tweet

Noting that Mumbai and Pune are the worst-hit hotspots in the state, in a video meeting with two central teams, the CM said that his government was looking into all the suggestions made be the central teams and taking actions after evaluating the same. Also Read - Does Black Fungus Affect Your Eyesight? Here's What we Know

At present, the period of doubling of patients in Maharashtra is seven days, which has to be increased to more than 10 days, Thackeray told the teams.

In Mumbai, that has the highest tally of COVID-19 cases, eight more people died of the virus in the past 24 hours. With this, the death toll in the city climbed to 168, while the total cases surged by 478 to 4,232, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stated.

Moreover, in what appears as a worrisome scenario, another death along with 25 fresh positive cases was reported in Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, situated in the heart of Mumbai, the financial capital of India.

The rise in cases in Dharavi raises concerns as it houses an estimated 8.5 to 10 lakh people in a span of 2.4 square kilometre, comprising of 60,000 families.

The area is not only congested, but also lacks common sanitation facilities, has insufficient water supply and no open spaces or greenery, making them a potentially fertile ground for diseases leaving little or no scope for ‘social distancing’.

Dharavi was already declared as a containment zone in the megapolis and the BMC officials have been trying to identify a target group who will receive the anti-malarial Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) drug as an experimental treatment for the viral infection.