Tuesday, September 27, 2022

739 fresh Covid cases in Mumbai, a 4-month high | Mumbai News

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MUMBAI: A significant surge in Covid cases was recorded on Wednesday, with Maharashtra crossing 1,000 cases -a three-month high-and Mumbai going past 700 cases after almost four months. While the state has seen a 52% spike in 24 hours, Mumbai has seen a 46% rise over Tuesday numbers.
Wary of a jump in symptomatic cases with monsoon at the doorstep, municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal directed all civic departments to raise their guard by preparing jumbo hospitals, ward war rooms, ramping up testing in every ward and boosting vaccination coverage among teenagers.

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With the detection of 739 new cases on Wednesday, the highest in 117 days, the city’s daily positivity rate touched 8.4%. It is one of the sharpest jumps seen in the positivity rate in three months when the number had dropped to less than 0.5%. The city’s cases made up the bulk of Maharashtra’s 1,081 cases, its highest single-day detection since February 24 when 1,182 cases were found. The only relief is that no deaths have been reported.
‘Normal life, no masking and variants may be driving surge’
A combination of factors could be behind the recent surge in Covid cases, said Dr Pradeep Vyas, the state’s additional chief secretary. “Increased mobility, normal economic activity with more intermingling, laxity in Covid-appropriate behaviour and no masking are some of the reasons. The transmission of Omicron sub-lineages BA.4 and BA.5 are probably responsible too,” he said.
Seven cases of BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-lineages have been found in Maharashtra so far, all from Pune. Many people with fever and cough are taking their symptoms lightly and not getting tested, Vyas added.
Coronavirus live updates
Commensurate with the surge in Covid cases, hospitalisation saw an uptick in the city with 29 people getting admitted. Active cases rose by nearly 20% in the past 24 hours. Rajesh Tope, public health minister, said a majority of active cases are in Mumbai, Thane and Pune. Active cases in Maharashtra touched 4,032 cases, with Mumbai accounting for 2,970 cases.
Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the state Covid task force, said the trend graph of Mumbai shows a silent wave, likely caused by mild omicron variants. “It’s premature to call it a fourth wave but there is a surge certainly,” he said.
Joshi pointed out hospitalisations are still not very high. “It’s important to protect the vulnerable and keep a close watch on hospitalisations. Covid-appropriate behaviour is recommended, especially masking in indoor closed environments,” he said, adding there was no need to panic but people must stay vigilant.

BMC chief Chahal cautioned about a rise in symptomatic cases, which is about 3-4% of all cases. He asked all ward officials to ramp up testing on a war footing and ensure laboratories are proactive and fully staffed. The city is clocking around 8,000-9,000 tests daily.
Staring at a potential rise in demand for beds, Chahal asked the jumbo hospitals to stay prepared with adequate manpower and medicines and nominated the Malad jumbo centre as the first port of call. Dean Dr Prashant Mishra said they have started checking the oxygen and water pipeline systems. “We can start admissions within a notice of seven days,” he said.
Of the nine jumbos, three at Goregaon, Dahisar and Kanjurmarg were shut, and six were kept on standby. Chahal has also asked private hospitals to stay prepared.
He also asked the ward war rooms, which were a huge help during the first and second waves for bed and ambulance allocation, to be ready.
The commissioner also stressed on renewed effort to accelerate vaccination, mainly for children of 12-14 years, and also for those who are eligible for booster shots but haven’t taken it. In the 12-14 age group, Mumbai is the worst performer having covered barely 28% with a single dose and 11% with both doses.
Cases are surging in Mumbai’s periphery too. New cases in Thane district crossed the triple-digit mark after nearly four months as 155 cases were reported on Wednesday. The highest volume of patients was from Navi Mumbai at 76 followed by Thane city at 48.
(Inputs by Manoj Badgeri)





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