The declining trend in daily Covid-19 cases continued as Maharashtra recorded 5,027 positive cases and 161 fatalities on Friday, pushing its tally to 17,10,314, with 44,965 deaths so far. Mumbai too has recorded 792 new cases and 22 Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, increasing the total count to 2,62,476, with 10,396 deaths till now.
Even as the decline in new cases has eased the load on government hospitals, the state health department is bracing for a second possible spike after the festival season and the onset of winter in December, or January 2021.
While cases are reducing at an encouraging rate since the end of September, a combination of winter and phased unlocking of economic activity might lead to another spike in the coming months.
Dr Pradeep Awate, state epidemiologist said they have informed all districts to prepare for isolation beds before December when a second wave may come. “We have analysed the Covid peak of individual districts and added 10 per cent cases to it as an estimate of a new peak. We have asked district officials to prepare for isolation beds accordingly,” he said.
Senior health officials said the state has also appointed a committee on communicable diseases and submitted an action plan to the state health department. A winter surge is common for respiratory viruses, and many experts believe that the number of Covid-19 cases is likely to rise as temperatures dip.
“The chances of a second wave are low in the state, but if we do not take precautions in keeping social distancing measures, do not wear masks, keep our hands sanitised, then the possibility of infection cannot be denied. In Diwali there will be a lot of crowding, people will move around more. Another factor will be winter, and virus multiplies faster in a colder environment,” he said.