Maharashtra: 50% of Covid cases in 4 days reported from Mumbai

Officials have attributed this surge to the new Omicron variant

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Friday, August 19, 2022, 10:42 PM IST
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Maharashtra: 50% of Covid cases in 4 days reported from Mumbai | (PTI Photo/Kunal Patil)

Mumbai: Mumbai has reported 51 per cent of the overall Covid cases recorded in the last four days. As per the data, Maharashtra witnessed 6,071 Covid cases from August 15 to 18, of which 3,092 cases are from Mumbai. Moreover, the test positivity rate of the city in the last four days has increased to 13.48 per cent, as compared to 11.74 per cent between August 11 to 14. Officials have attributed this surge to the new Omicron variant which has been spread among citizens, but also said its impact is mild to moderate. Moreover, due to festive seasons, there is a movement of people due to which cases are increasing.

Dr Sanjith Saseedharan, consultant & head of critical care at SL Raheja Hospital (Mahim), said the increase in the number of cases is worrisome. A majority of the people who require hospitalisation are the elderly with comorbidities or those who have not taken their booster shots.

“The BA.2.75 (Centaurus) is a highly transmissible sub-variant of Omicron that might be responsible for the increase in the number of cases and deaths. This variant is also known to escape immune responses like antibodies and thus become inherently more transmissible. The colder weather and rains also contribute to the increase in the spread of the virus,” he said.

Meanwhile, the BMC has also ramped up testing and claim that is the reason they are seeing the “reported” rise of cases. However, there is no cause for concern as there is no shortage of beds or medicines. “Importantly, a majority of the illnesses that are reported are mild. Having said so, it is essential to be vaccinated and follow Covid appropriate behaviour to prevent the virus from creating devastating consequences as was seen in the past,” he concluded.

Doctors attributed the surge in cases to people not following Covid appropriate behaviour, overcrowding during ongoing festivities and the emergence of new subtypes of the Omicron variant of the virus. “It is too early to comment if the city is experiencing another spike. We will be keeping a close eye over the next one week,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, executive health officer, BMC.

Dr Vasant Nagvekar, co-director, infectious diseases, at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, said there is less possibility of it being due to the new Omnicron variant. “They are also not organising regular genomic sequencing to gather a complete understanding of the situation. Considering the people's concerns and fears, it looks unlikely, but it will settle down in a couple of weeks.

“It can be both currently, as there has been no certain reason for it; we can consider it to be an endemic situation. There is a mild rise in cases seen in last two days but with the opening up it's still very low and all of them are milder in nature. Also, quite a few asymptomatic positive cases emerge when they go for a routine check prior to surgery or so. But there is no need to panic as a majority of them are self-limiting,” he said.

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