Maharashtra saw a fresh surge in Covid cases on Thursday, with the state’s daily caseload shooting up by 60 per cent to 5,218 in the last 24 hours. At 2,479, Mumbai, too, saw a sharp upturn in cases over the last 24 hours, with the number of tests also scaled up from 8,131 to 20,408 within that period of time.
The fresh cases in the state on Thursday also marked the highest single-day count reported since February. The spike was attributed to a two-fold surge in daily testing in the state.
The health officials are anticipating a further surge in caseload, thereby indicating that a fourth wave of the pandemic could well be in play in the state.
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The rise in daily testing in the state also contributed to a decline in the test positivity rate (TPR) — the number of positive cases out of the total tests conducted — from 12.32 per cent to 9.31 per cent. According to the data released by the public health department, on June 22, the state conducted a total of 26,457 tests of which 3,260 samples were detected with SARS-Cov-2—the virus that causes Covid-19. The tests on Thursday increased to 55,990, with 5,218 patients diagnosed with Covid-19.
The fresh cases in the financial capital, up from 1,648 on Wednesday, also marked the highest single-day tally of infections in the city since January. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in its release, stated that since the portal of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) wasn’t functional in the last couple of days, some backlog cases were reported in Thursday’s report.
However, while Covid cases saw a sharp rise, the state recorded only one death on Thursday— a 42-year-old woman with a chronic kidney ailment succumbed to the virus in Mumbai.
Asked about the upward spiral in cases, Dr Pradeep Vyas, additional chief secretary, Maharshtra said, “Wednesdays and Thursdays of every week over the last 28 months give a clear picture of the Covid-19 trend. Considering this, we are witnessing a steady rise.”
Medical experts believe that the new variants of Omicron—BA.4 and BA.5, which are considered more infectious — are driving the infection rate in the crowd, adding that the public have lowered their guard.
“The fact is that cases are rising rapidly and there is no evidence to suggest that the situation is different in terms of infectivity and severity as compared to the third wave. However, there is a similar pattern that has been observed recently,” Dr Rahul Pandit, member of the state’s Covid-19 task force, said.