Maharashtra witnessed a surge of 13 per cent in the daily covid-19 cases on Friday, with 40,925 new infections and 20 covid fatalities being reported in the last 24 hours, pushing its tally to 68,34,222, with 1,41,614 deaths so far. Meanwhile, the city which was witnessing 36-40 per cent surge in COVID cases for the last three days has recorded a marginal rise in the last 24 hours, with recorded 20,921 cases on Friday compared to 20,181 which was reported on January 6, increasing the total tally to 8,74,780 till now. However, six people succumbed to the deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus in Mumbai, pushing the death toll to 16,394. Meanwhile, there are no Omicron cases reported across Maharashtra on Friday.
Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner said considering the daily growth rate, they expect cases will double in the coming days. Mumbai could see more than double of 20,000 cases in the next few days. “Our daily highest projection was 20,000 that we reached rapidly. There is a possibility we may see double that number, given that cases are increasing by 30-40%. However there was not much surge in cases on Friday, but the test positivity rate still remains high at 28 percent,” said Kakani.
Senior expert from the state health department has warned that the new variant has the potential to spread in the community quickly. They were expecting a rise in the number of infections and a possible third wave because of Omicron, and the increasing numbers are in line with what was anticipated. This is what has happened in other parts of the world, and we are likely to experience the same cycle that South Africa went through, and other countries such as the UK, Denmark and the US are presently going through.
“It has been over 6-8 months since the most vulnerable groups received a second dose of the vaccine, and with waning immunity and a novel variant which has immune escape properties, we need to be very cautious, especially to avoid crowds. The variant is likely to spread through the community, but how fast it spreads will determine how overwhelmed the healthcare system gets,” he said.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)