Mumbai reported 25% of total cases in just 31 days

According to state health department data, in the 31 days since then, the city reported 255,256 out of a total of 1,022,789 cases since the pandemic began in March 2020
39 deaths were reported in the first 20 days of January compared to 25 deaths in the same period of December (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)
39 deaths were reported in the first 20 days of January compared to 25 deaths in the same period of December (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 21, 2022 11:17 PM IST
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ByMehul Thakkar

MUMBAI: The city recorded 25% of its overall Covid-19 cases in just one month since December 21 when the new surge was officially announced in Mumbai. According to state health department data, in the 31 days since then, the city reported 255,256 out of a total of 1,022,789 cases since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Last year, just as the second wave – fuelled by the Delta variant – hit Mumbai, the city had recorded a spike of 31,016 cases between February 15 and March 15, 2021. Later, in the 30 days of April, at the peak of the second wave, the city reported 233,698 cases, which were then 36% of the total.

The highest single-day spike in the second wave was on April 4, 2021 with 11,206 cases, while the third wave saw 20,971 cases on January 7, 2022.

According to state health department data, in the first 20 days of January 2022, 232,150 Covid-19 cases were reported compared to 4,252 during the same period of December, an increase of 5360%. Further, 139 deaths were reported in the first 20 days of January compared to 25 deaths in the same period of December. In the same comparable period, daily testing increased by 49% from 745,591 to 1.111 million tests.

The city reported between 1,000 to 3,000 daily cases in the first few days of the New Year, and this spiked to between 18,000 and 20,000 between January 6 and January 10. However, this has fallen to between 5,000 and 7,000 cases for the last five days.

On Friday, Mumbai reported 5008 cases taking the tally to 1,027,797, along with 12 deaths taking the city’s fatalities to 16,512. The city’s recovery rate is 97% and its overall mortality rate is 1.61%. As of Friday, the city had 14,178 active cases.

BMC officials said the third wave has been fuelled by the Omicron variant. In a statement issued on December 31, 2021, the BMC said that 56% of the total over 200 samples collected from the community were detected with the Omicron variant. By January 10, BMC officials maintained that it is assumed that 80% of the cases being reported in the city are of Omicron variant, further citing it to be the reason for the spike. Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal told HT on January 12 that another phase of genome sequencing is under process, which will give a better idea about the variant distribution among the city’s cases.

Experts meanwhile suggest that it is indeed the Omicron variant that is dominant both in the city and the country. Dr Shashank Joshi, member of Maharashtra’s Covid-19 Taskforce on Friday took to social media saying, “Do not miss Delta variant in this Omicron wave especially in geographies like Maharashtra, South India and Northeast where the tail was present when Omicron came. The guess estimate is that 10 to 20 percent is still Delta but Omicron is the dominant strain now.”

Dr Madhav Sathe, former professor of microbiology at BYL Nair Hospital said, “This spike in cases of Covid-19 in January compared to December is suggestive of Omicron, considering people are recovering faster and the infection is mild, with no corresponding spike in deaths. However, I feel the data for January is an underestimation, considering many cases have gone unreported due to various factors such as mild or asymptomatic infections, and the use of home testing kits.”

He added, “What number we are seeing being reported now may be the tip of the iceberg, and we need to be cautious. We still have several million people who have not taken even a single dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and senior citizens with comorbidity can suffer from serious infections, irrespective of the fact whether it’s the Omicron or the Delta variant.”

Meanwhile, the BMC on January 19, said that the third wave in Mumbai is ebbing and that the city is witnessing a gradual fall in cases. It cautioned citizens to continue following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour to ensure no further spike in cases.

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