‘Covid cases likely to cross single-day peak during 2nd wave in Mumbai’
The state health department has stuck to the third wave projections drawn in July, which estimated Maharashtra was likely to see 1.25 million active cases during the peak of the third wave
New Covid-19 cases in Mumbai are likely to cross the single-day peak of 11,206 during the second wave of the pandemic this summer, the city’s civic body has said based on growing infections since December 22. The city’s Covid-19 Task Force has alerted the state and civic health authorities to expect a “very large” third wave driven by the Omicron variant of the disease.
“The Omicron variant is on its way to becoming the predominant strain in Mumbai, and perhaps the rest of the state,” said Shashank Joshi, a member of the task force. “Given the nature of this variant, we are heading for a very large third wave.” He added the exponential doubling rate of cases is an indicator of the large third wave.
On Thursday, Maharashtra recorded 5,368 Covid-19 cases, a 38% jump from Wednesday’s 3,900. Mumbai reported 3,555 cases on Thursday, a 45% jump from the previous day. The city also accounted for 66% of the state’s cases.
The state’s Omicron case count has touched 450, of which 198 cases were detected on Thursday. While a majority of the Omicron patients have a history of international travel or are contacts of travellers, some have no travel history. Joshi said this suggests that the variant is in the phase of community transmission.
Municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said they were anticipating a larger third wave. “However, we also anticipate that the rate of hospitalisation will be low.” He added they were on alert.
The state health department has stuck to the third wave projections drawn in July, which estimated that Maharashtra was likely to see 1.25 million active cases during the peak of the third wave. This is 1.5 times more than the active caseload of nearly 700,000 during the second wave.
“Back then, we anticipated 65% of the patients will require home isolation, while 35% will need hospitalisation. However, the Omicron variant suggests that the percentage of hospitalisation could be much lower,” said Satish Pawar, additional director, National Health Mission, Maharashtra. “All districts have been asked to prepare for an active caseload of 1.5 times more than the second wave. We believe that these estimates will apply for the current scenario as well.”