COVID-19 cases under control in state, but experts don't rule out second wave

Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 5,600 new infections and 111 COVID-19 fatalities, pushing its tally of positive cases to 18,32,176 while 47,357 patients succumbed to the disease till now. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 recovery rate of the state is constant for last month at 92.52 percent, with 5,027 patients recovered in the past 24 hours increasing the total recoveries to 16,95,208.

Mumbai continues to report less than 1,000 cases for the third straight day on Wednesday with the city reporting 877 new cases and 20 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours. The city’s total pandemic cases rose to 2,82,811 and the death toll rose to 10,839 so far.

“Due to the reconciliation process on ICMR portal, 2,250 duplicate cases are removed from progressive cases,” said health officials.

Contrary to the projection by authorities, cases in the state are still under control despite unlocking and crowding at public places during Diwali.

“We had been expecting a spike ten days after Diwali, but thankfully, the number of cases still hovering around 5,000. The positivity and mortality rates, too, have dipped over the past few weeks. Against this backdrop, we could expect another peak of cases, instead of a second wave,” said an official from the health department.

Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the state-appointed task force, however, has a word of caution. He said the period between December 25 and January 26 is crucial, during which there could be a second wave. “The temperature in the state starts dropping by the end of December and if the pollution level goes up during the time, we may see a surge in number.”

He further said, “We had two peaks in May-June and September, during the first wave, which is now receding. Despite the fact that the health protocol is not being followed perfectly and almost everything has been opened up, we have been able to keep the numbers low. It is because of the high temperature in November, restrictions on the travelling of people from Delhi, Goa and other states with high rate of spread and less pollution.”

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