Updated: January 11, 2022 7:36:49 am
While the number of daily new Covid-19 cases in Mumbai has stabilised in the last three days, four districts — Thane, Palghar, Raigad and Pune — have now emerged as major contributors to the total tally of cases in Maharashtra.
Nearly 58% of the state’s total active Covid-19 cases are in Mumbai, with 1,17,437 patients who are currently infected with SARS-Cov-2 — the virus that causes Covid-19. This is followed by four districts — Thane, Palghar, Raigad and Pune — which have 69,829 active patients of the state’s 2,02,259 patients accounting for 34.52% of the state’s active tally. Mumbai and these four districts account for over 92 per cent of Maharashtra’s active cases.
In the last nine days, the trajectory of the spread of the pandemic, which consists of both Delta and Omicron variants, has changed drastically. On January 1, of the state’s 32,225 active cases, Mumbai had 22,334 patients (70%). Now, as the daily cases in the city are hovering around 19,000-20,000 for the last three days, the number of new cases in rest of Maharashtra is gradually surging.
In the last one month, between December 10, 2021 and January 9, other than Mumbai, active cases surged by over 3,000% in Thane, Palghar, Raigad, followed by Pune with almost 1,000% growth, according to an analysis done by The Indian Express.
In the same period, active Covid-19 cases in Thane increased from 1,077 to 38,105. In tribal-dominated Palghar, the number of active cases increased from 199 on December 10, 2021 to 6,381 on January 9. In Raigad, active cases jumped from 170 to 6,486 in the same period while in Pune district, the number of active cases surged from 1,715 to 18,857 in the last one month.
The current seven-day positivity rate in Thane stands at 20.6%, which is inching closer to Mumbai’s 23%. This is followed by Raigad, with 17.9% positivity rate and Palghar with 17.2%. All these four districts have a higher seven-day positivity rate than the state average of 16.3%.
The seven-day positivity rate in Pune, 13%, is below the state average. On pandemic trajectory in the state, Surveillance Officer Dr Pradip Awate said as the inter-states borders were open, it was expected that the virus would spread from Mumbai to neighbouring districts.
“Mumbai is the financial capital… on a daily basis, thousands travel back and forth from the city. There can be many asymptomatic carriers who end up infecting others on the way or carry the virus home. This has happened earlier both in the first and second waves,” he said. “Thus, we are focusing on vaccinating all the eligible individuals in the state,” added Dr Awate.
Similar to the previous two waves, the infection has gradually started spreading to rural parts of the state. For instance, on December 10 last year, Bhandara had zero active Covid-19 cases but now, it has 10 patients. Amravati had nine active cases, which has now increased to 288. In the same period, active cases increased from 86 to 2,609 in Nagpur district.
Amravati Civil Surgeon Dr Shyamsundar Nikam said, “A virus always spreads like an earthquake—from its epicenter to the surrounding places. So, once a variant enters into a state, it gradually spreads to others. Now, we can only make preparations to handle the patients.”
Anticipating the trend, the state has kept nearly 3.6 lakh beds ready across districts for Covid-19 patients.
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