Covid third wave or spread of new variant Omicron? What led to sudden surge of positive cases in Mumbai

The sudden surge of covid cases in the city could be attributed to the possibility of a third wave or spread of a new variant of covid-19 Omicron.

covid mumbai IE Photo
No significant surge has been witnessed in slum areas (IE Photo)

Covid-19: Mumbai on Tuesday recorded 1,333 cases , a substantial increase from 809 cases reported a day ago. This hike is said to be the highest one-day surge in the financial capital since May 26, when the positive cases recorded were 1,352. According to the data, the city accounted for 63.3 per cent of the state’s total tally of 2,172 covid-19 cases as on Tuesday.

At least 1,333 were tested positive out of the 32,369 tests conducted in the city. This number alone pushed the positivity rate up to 4.11 per cent. The daily covid-19 tally has gone up by 1,134 in the last 28 days whereas active covid cases have increased to 5,803 from 1,904.

Third wave in Mumbai?

The sudden surge of covid cases in the city could be attributed to the possibility of a third wave or spread of a new variant of covid-19 Omicron, the doctors said, indicating the reason for this sudden rally in covid. The patients are mildly symptomatic, but there could be high possibility that this sudden surge of infection is due to covid third wave or rising Omicron cases.
It will take some time, at least another two weeks to confirm or put an end to the speculation whether it is third wave or something else. But we cannot deny that there are some epidemiological factors leading to the sudden rise in covid cases in the city. There is also a possibility, as sero prevalence in Mumbai is high that it is not Delta derivatives but another ‘variant of concern’ present in the crowd, Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the state Covid-19 task force was quoted as saying in the IndianExpress.com. He also added that in the first wave, the doubling rate was 12 days (706 to 1367), in the second wave, 20 days (683 to 1325), and now it is only 4 days (683 to 1377).

No significant surges in slums

Though the covid cases in the city are rising by leaps and bounds, another interesting point is that nearly 90 per cent of th covid cases are from high rise buildings and no significant surge has been witnessed in slum areas. Dr Mangala Gomare, executive health officer, BMC stated that most patients have contracted infection in violation of covid-appropriate behavior. We have been recording 4-5 cluster infections in families visiting weddings, parties or other related functions with mass gathering.

Also Read: Coronavirus Omicron Live Updates: Asia stares at ‘inevitable’ Omicron surge, next 3 months very critical, say experts

BMC has been conducting stringent surveillance on those coming from international flights and also testing infected passengers. With an eye on Omicron, BMC has been conducting stringent surveillance of international fliers and tracing close contacts of infected passengers. Footfall of international passengers have also increased substantially due to the New Year which is around the corner. This is also giving rise to the number of positive cases, said Suresh Kakani, Additional Commissioner, BMC.

Flouting covid norms

The fact that the people gather in large numbers in public places can also be attributed to rising cases. This issue was in fact discussed in the last state covid task force meeting. People need to exercise discretion, need to be more careful, and avoid crowded places as we yet don’t know what is causing the spike in covid cases, Dr Gautam Bhansali, in-charge of Covid-19 private beds was quoted as saying in the Indianexpress.com. It is concerning that Mumbai, where a large number of the population is vaccinated, 100 per cent of the population is vaccinated partially and 70 per cent is fully vaccinated, is witnessing such a massive surge of infection.

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