Mumbai: The number of active cases across Maharashtra has dropped by 87% in the last 40 days. There were 1,566 active cases until Nov 1, which dipped drastically to 205 by Dec 11. Nine of the 24 BMC wards reported zero cases between Dec 4-11. However, health experts warn that the pandemic is not yet over, but in the endemic stage. Moreover, the virus is behaving like the flu and people are recovering quickly, without many complications.
BMC's Joint Executive Health Officer Dr Daksha Shah said there are several factors due to which numbers reduced drastically including a reduced transmission rate with most citizens having taken both doses of the Covid vaccine.
According to Dr Jitendra Choudhary, consultant, intensive & critical care, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital Vashi, it has even been some time since we witnessed the last big wave of Covid, which was in Dec 2021. “However, as per the World Health Organization (WHO), Covid is far from becoming an endemic disease and could still trigger large outbreaks worldwide,” he said, adding that there is no single agreed definition of what would make Covid qualify as an endemic. “A more appropriate term is 'living with Covid', which means life now must incorporate public health mitigation measures to reduce the impact of the disease.”
Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, practising physician and epidemiologist said Covid infections and disease trends, epidemiologically speaking, indicate that it has become endemic in India over the last few months. The revised testing approach wherein tests are completely voluntary and not everyone is being tested, with a minor rise and fall in reported cases limiting relevance and it cannot be used for any inference. At least not in isolation.
“We know it is circulating in all settings and it will continue to do so. Therefore, future programmatic consideration should be derived based upon a combined interpretation of new case patterns, clinical outcomes (and change in them) and new variants. Though future waves can not be ruled out, the probability of a major wave with clinical impact is very low,” he said.
Critical care specialist and a member of the state Covid Task Force, Dr Kedar Toraskar said we can't say the pandemic is over. “The number of tests done daily has gone down. Hardly any hospital is conducting as many tests as they did before. Since Jan 2022, we are seeing Omicron and its sub-variants dominating the infections, and these haven't been replaced by any new variant,” he said.
According to Dr Vasant Nagvekar, co-director of infectious disease at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, we have not been seeing a sharp spike in Covid cases despite fully opening up and that's good news. However, it cannot be said that we are in the endemic stage as of now. “We will have to wait for the next six months to one year before we can say the same. Other countries like China are witnessing some cases. This, however, should not be a matter of concern for us. We will have to remain watchful, take precautions, and hope for the best,” Dr Nagvekar concluded.
Areas with no fresh cases
Kurla (L ward)
Kandivli (R-South ward)
Byculla (E ward)
Colaba (A ward)
Chembur East (M-East ward)
Borivli (R-Central ward)
Marine Lines (C ward),
Chembur West (M-West ward)
Goregaon (P-South ward)
The virus is behaving like the flu and people are recovering quickly and without any complications. The recent deaths have been due to other health issues along with Covid
– Dr Kedar Toraskar, critical care specialist & state Covid Task Force member
We are seeing various mutations of the virus. People with comorbidities need to follow Covid norms in public places considering the winter season has started and there might be a moderate rise in infections
– Dr Daksha Shah, Joint Executive Health Officer, BMC.
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