3 factors behind Covid-19 spike: What Maharashtra state health official says

Updated on Feb 25, 2021 11:17 AM IST

The concentrated spurt of Vidarbha region is gradually spreading to other areas of Maharashtra, including Pune and Mumbai.

Police in Amravati stop commuters after a restriction was imposed due to an increase in Covid-19 cases on Wednesday.(PTI)
Police in Amravati stop commuters after a restriction was imposed due to an increase in Covid-19 cases on Wednesday.(PTI)
By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

The reason behind the astronomical rise of daily Covid-19 infections in Maharashtra, after a period of dip, has not been ascertained yet but according to experts, it is not one reason that led to the sudden spike, but a combination of various factors, including the ever-changing nature of the virus. A senior state health official told news agency PTI the nature of the virus, the person who has the virus and is transmitting it to others and the overall environment of an area including weather, pollution, housing structure, are the three factors that play behind the ups and downs of a virus. The same can be applicable to the sudden spike in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region, the official said.

Recording a four-month high, Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 8,807 cases. On October 21 last year, it had reported 8,142 cases, followed by a steady decline in the number of daily cases. Though the spurt was concentrated only in the Vidarbha region, comprising 11 districts of Akola, Amravati, Buldana, Yavatmal, Washim, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Gonda, Nagpur and Wardha, the rise has now spread to Mumbai and Pune as well.

Dr Subhash Salunke, technical adviser to the Maharashtra government on Covid-19, had earlier told that if the spread is not contained immediately, it will spread to other states.

Mutants virus strains have been found in Maharashtra and some other states but these are not behind the surge, the ministry has said as some of these mutations have been present since last year.

A study on this is currently being done by the Pune-based National Institute of Virology and the National Centre for Disease Control in New Delhi and other labs, and samples from eight districts have been sent to find out if there is a correlation between the mutant strains and the surge, or among the surge in some states.

To contain the spread of what is being thought of as the second wave of Covid-19 in Maharashtra, several districts have imposed movement restrictions.

Mumbai on Wednesday reported the highest single-day spike of 1,167 cases. Nagpur district (barring Nagpur city) and Amravati city in Vidarbha saw a daily jump of 818 and 627 cases. Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad cities in Western Maharashtra reported a rise of 755 and 408 cases, respectively.

(With Agency Inputs)

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