Steady rise in fresh Covid cases; officials say nothing to worry


India reported over 5,000 Covid cases for the first time in over three months with Maharashtra, Delhi, Kerala and Karnataka accounting for over 70 per cent of the fresh infections.

On a 24-hour basis, the country reported 5,233 fresh infections and seven fatalities on Wednesday, as per Health Ministry data. Active cases comprise 0.07 per cent of total infections while the recovery rate was 98.72 per cent.

Manjusha Agarwal, Senior Consultant-Internal Medicine at Mumbai’s Global Hospital, said the last 15 days have seen a sight increase in patients, but 99.5 percent of them improve with minimal medication. “This is the mildest wave of the virus,” she told BusinessLine. It is more transmissible, but patients are not showing signs of severity.

Maharashtra, which is witnessing one of the highest daily infections, reported 1,881 new cases on Tuesday with the total number of active cases rising to 8,432. The majority of active cases are located in a few cities, including Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Pune. The government is likely to review the situation this weekend and announce a further course of action.

Daily cases are on the rise in Kerala, too – up over 2,270 cases on Tuesday. The surge has coincided with the reopening of schools. The outbreak is centred around Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam districts. Satish Koul, Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research, said most patients are being managed at the OPDs, with symptomatic treatment. “It seems to be Omicron, but, with the possibility of sub-strain,” he said.

Genome sequencing

According to a senior Health Ministry official, genome sequencing of samples (done across the four States) show prevalance of two recombinant variants of Omicron – BA2.38 and BA2.23 – which are seen causing breakthrough infections. In January, when a large number of Omicron cases were being reported, it was the BA2.10 variant.

“Hospitalisations remain low and the respective State governments have been asked to ramp up testing. Genome testing of samples are on. So immediately, there is no need for a concern.” the official told BusinessLine.

Daily new cases in Gujarat doubled in less than 10 days with Ahmedabad reporting about 40 new cases each day. However, according to Bhavin Solanki, Medical Officer of Health for Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, most infections are from the working population with a travel history. “Out of about 200 active cases in the city, we have three patients hospitalised,” he said.

Low hospitalisation

The spokesperson of Apollo Hospitals Group said they have not seen any rise in hospitalisation. “Covid will stay and also mutate. So we will see highs and lows. Best options remain to control the spread as soon as a spike is noticed,” the spokesperson said.

According to Shreevidya Venkatraman, Senior Consultant – Internal Medicine at Chennai’s MGM Healthcare, the hospital had to “literally close” its Covid ward since cases were low in Jan–April period. But again, from mid-May, the hospital started getting Covid positive cases “but not essentially very sick people or requiring oxygen support”.

“Elderly people who are going into ICU incidentally turn out to be Covid positive but their issue of going to ICU was not because of Covid but due to other medical problems. Along with Covid, we are also seeing a lot of mixed infections with seasonal fevers such as dengue and typhoid, which is usually prevalent in this season,” she said.

(Inputs from Abhishek Law in New Delhi, Narayanan V in Chennai, Rutam Vora in Ahmedabad, Vinson Kurian in Kochi, Radheshyam Jadhav in Pune and PT Jyothy Datta in Mumbai)

Published on

June 08, 2022

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