After witnessing a drop in Covid-19 cases for the last four days, Mumbai on Wednesday saw a big surge in new cases with the city recording 16,420 fresh infections. The surge in daily cases corresponds with a rise in daily positivity rate, which increased from 18.7 per cent on Tuesday to 24.3 per cent on Wednesday.
The number of fresh cases in Maharashtra also increased by 35.7 per cent from 34,424 cases recorded on Tuesday to 46,723 on Wednesday. More concerning, the state has been recording a spike in deaths – 32 deaths were recorded on Wednesday compared to 22 deaths on Tuesday and eight on Monday.
Warning people against lowering their guard, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the state is likely to witness a massive surge in cases and hospitalisation in the last week of January or first week of February.
“The use of medical oxygen in the state is slowly increasing. At present, the consumption has increased to about 400 metric tonne per day. If 700 metric tonne of oxygen is required per day, then strict restrictions need to be imposed in the state,” a statement issued by the CM’s office said.
“Keeping this in mind, the district administration should increase vaccination coverage and prepare other plans,” Thackeray added. Apart from Mumbai, the third wave is now spreading to rural areas, he said.
On January 7, Mumbai had recorded 20,971 daily cases, which dropped to 20,318 on January 8. The next day, it dropped further to 19,474. On Monday, it dropped exponentially to 13,648 cases by recording a 30 per cent plunge. On Tuesday, the city recorded a 14.6 per cent drop in cases with 11,647 new cases. But Wednesday, the downward spiral of cases moved upward with 16,420 new cases, with a 40 per cent rise in cases within 24 hours.
The test positivity rate – ratio of detection of positive cases out of the total number of tests conducted – also surged sharply.
On January 11, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had conducted 62,097 tests, of which 18.7 per cent were detected with Covid-19. But the next day, of the 67,339 tests conducted, 24.3 per cent were found infected.
However, the bed occupancy rate dropped to 6,946 on Wednesday from 7,283 on Tuesday. Overall, 18.8 per cent of Covid-19 beds are currently occupied by patients.
“Our past experience shows that every Wednesday, Covid-19 cases are always at a high. To confirm if the cases are flattening, we need data for 14 days,” said BMC Additional Commissioner Suresh Kakani.
Health Minister Rajesh Tope told The Indian Express that of the 2.25 lakh active patients in the state, 2 lakh, who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, are in home quarantine. “Only 2.8 per cent of the patients are serious, of which 1 per cent are in ICU and 0.23 per cent on ventilator,” he added.
Considering the rising cases, which are a combination of both Omicron and Delta variants, the state has written to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) seeking clarification about the need to conduct sero survey to gauge the prevalence of the SARS-Cov-2 in the community.
The Union health ministry, in a press brief, has stated that the seven-day positivity rate of Thane (31 per cent) has surpassed Mumbai’s 29 per cent.
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