Maha: After Covid, Omicron catapults to a record high

A day after Covid-19 cases scaled a new high above 48,000 mark, Omicron infections set a new record with Mumbai notching the maximum cases of the variant and deaths remained in double-digits, health officials said here on Saturday.

After the previous record high of 48,270 (January 21), the number of daily Covid infectees cooled and returned to the 46,000 level, 46,393 on Saturday — a drop of 1,877 new cases compared with Friday.

As the spread continued in Pune, the Maharashtra government has dropped plans to reopen schools in the district from January 24, said Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

The fatalities also came down from 52 a day earlier to 48 on Saturday, and the mortality rate fell from 1.91 per cent to 1.09 per cent.

After notching a peak of 238 Omicron cases (January 14) the state infections of the variant catapulted to a new record — from 144 a day earlier to a staggering 416 on Saturday.

The government is continuing the intensive surveillance of passengers arriving at the three international airports – Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur – since December 1.

A total of 307,966 travellers have landed here, including 48,505 from the “high risk” countries from where 579 have tested positive and another 670 from other countries, with all their reports sent for genomic sequencing to confirm if they are afflicted by Omicron.

Another staggering 6,090 positive samples from field surveys conducted since November 1 have been sent for genomic sequencing with the results of 103 are awaited, the officials said.

Omicron has spread extensively across several districts in the state, and out of the 2,759 cases till date, 1,225 have recovered.

Pune district remains at the top with 1,182 cases of the variant, 1,009 in Mumbai, 178 in Nagpur, 134 in Thane, 59 in Sangli, 31 in Amravati, 20 each in Raigad and Aurangabad, 19 in Kolhapur, 15 in Satara, 13 in Wardha, 11 each in Osmanabad and Akola, 7 in Palghar, 6 in Buldhana, 5 in Nashik, 4 in Ahmednagar, 3 each in Nanded, Latur, Jalna, Parbhani and Gondiya, 2 each in Gadchiroli, Nandurbar, Jalgaon and Bhandara, 1 in Beed, besides one from another state.

Of the 46,393 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, Mumbai Metropolitan Region showed a decline from 10,493 a day earlier to 8,471 infections, while Mumbai city also fell sharply from 5,008 to 3,568 fresh cases.

The next is Pune Circle’s 18,729 infectees, Nagpur Circle 6,394, Nashik Circle 4,958, Aurangabad Circle 2,170, Latur 2,102, Kolhapur Circle 2,053, and Akola Circle’s 1,516.

The number of people sent to home quarantine declined sharply – dropping from 23,87,593 on Friday to 21,86,124 now, and another 3,382 have been shunted to institutional quarantine.

Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Raigad and Palghar remain at the top with the highest number of aactive cases’ currently in the state, with the afflictions shooting up from 264,388 a day before to 279,930 on Saturday, and the recovery rate again dropping 94.47 per cent to 94.03 per cent.

The state’s cumulative figures of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 now stands at 74,66,420 cases and 142,071 deaths, while a total of 70,40,618 patients have fully recovered till Saturday.

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