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Mumbai: Covid-19 task force doctor confirms community transmission of Omicron in city

The total number of Omicron patients in the city has increased to 1,009 till now.

Swapnil Mishra | Updated on: Monday, January 24, 2022, 07:04 AM IST

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Three weeks ago the community transmission of the Omicron variant was started in Mumbai resulting in a surge in daily covid-19 cases by recording more than 20,000 corona cases. Moreover, it is highly contagious due to which most of the covid cases are now of Omicron. Meanwhile, there is no clear outcome on which subtype of Omicron has led to community transmission.

Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the state covid-19 task force agreed to the report of INSACOG of Omicron variant of the coronavirus is in the community transmission stage in India and has become dominant in multiple metros where new cases have been rising exponentially. Dr Joshi said there is no doubt Omicron has spread in the community and it is very sporadic and highly contagious due to which they have now decided to focus on symptomatic and mildly symptomatic patients. Moreover, there are types of Omicron such as BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3 and there is no clarity on which one is the main cause of community transmission.

“As Omicron is highly contagious, we have changed our approach to focus on four parameters — deaths, hospitalisation, oxygen and ventilators. We have to focus on symptomatic management of patients and identify people at risk, who are vulnerable to get severe disease and death. Moreover, so far 75 per cent of daily cases are of Omicron which clearly shows it has spread in the community,” he said.

Moreover, the Omicron variant was detected in 85 per cent of the samples sent for genome sequencing to the Kasturba Hospital laboratory, revealing the eight whole genomic surveillance reports of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Saturday.

The total number of Omicron patients in the city has increased to 1,009 till now.

The civic body had collected a total of 375 samples for the eight batches in its genomic surveillance series of which 321 were detected with the Omicron variant, while the rest of the samples were detected with Delta and its subtypes.

Maharashtra epidemiologist and state surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate said it is now established that Omicron is present at the community level in Mumbai and Pune. “Further in-depth analysis is required to see the spread,” he said.

Awate pointed out that until a month ago, Omicron had not been found in any of the samples sequenced in Maharashtra. “From zero, its presence has increased to 10% of sequenced cases. That shows it is fast-growing,” he said.

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Published on: Monday, January 24, 2022, 06:00 AM IST