Mumbai: Covid cases might rise during winter season, say experts

The state has reported BA.2.3.20 and BQ.1 variants for the first time in India. Moreover, the rise has been seen in Thane, Raigad, and Mumbai.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Tuesday, October 18, 2022, 01:04 AM IST
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Covid cases might rise during winter season: Experts | Representative Image

Maharashtra has witnessed 17.7 per cent rise in the number of covid-19 cases compared to the last week, according to the state health department.

Moreover, the rise has been seen in Thane, Raigad and Mumbai. Some experts are predicting rise in the coming winter season especially in festive environment. 

Meanwhile, the whole genome sequencing report revealed that proportion of BA.2.75 is decreased to 76 per cent from 95 per cent. Moreover, the state has reported XBB, which is a new variant having a growth advantage over BA.2.75 and immune evasive properties. Apart from this, state has reported BA.2.3.20 and BQ.1 variants for the first time in India.

XBB, a combination of Omicron's BA.2.75 and BJ.1 variants, was first detected in Singapore and the US in August. Scientists believe the "recombinant" is good at immune evasion, although it's still unclear if the virus causes severe disease leading to hospitalisation. 

“Though the prevalence is less, it is a crucial one. Right now as the testing is less, the samples coming in for genome sequencing is also less. We are hoping that the samples that come in October, will give a clear picture,” said a senior health official. 

Dr Vasant Nagvekar, Co-director of Infectious Disease at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital said, “Yes, there has been news about this highly infectious omicron variant but we know very little about this variant. We will have to wait and look how it behaves in terms of severity so best keep a close watch, take precautions, and go on our routine.” 

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