For the second time this month, Mumbai reported its daily Covid-19 caseload above 800. Most of the new cases are ‘incidental cases’ where patients are being diagnosed while undergoing non-Covid related treatment.
On August 10, the city reported 852 Covid-19 cases, the highest daily rise since July 1. The next day, the number of cases dropped to 683. But in the past 24 hours, the caseload climbed to 871 with a surge of 27.5 per cent.
According to doctors, as cases of seasonal influenza and mosquito-borne diseases are on a rise, which share symptoms similar to Covid-19, more patients are getting tested on time out of concern.
“To avoid overlapping diagnoses, doctors are running all required tests, including the Covid-19 one, on patients with upper respiratory infections and symptoms of influenza. Due to higher testing, more cases are being identified,” said Dr Rahul Pandit, member of the state Covid-19 task force.
When asked if this sudden rise in daily caseload indicates another possible Covid-19 wave, he said, “It is too early to comment on it. But hardly any Covid-19 positive patients require hospitalisation. I have only one patient who is currently admitted.”
The test positivity rate (TPR) — the number of positive cases out of the total tests conducted — stood at 9.4 per cent with 9,213 tests being conducted in the last 24 hours.
As per the public health department, the recent rise in Covid-19 cases is mostly driven by the new sub-variants of Omicron — BA.2.75 and BA.2.74. “There can be two factors behind the surge — the new variants, especially BA.2.75, which is considered to have higher transmission rate. Secondly, during monsoon, cases of influenza generally surge as has already been seen in Mumbai. The same epidemiological reasons can be behind the surge in Covid-19 cases in the ongoing monsoon,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, Maharashtra.