Maha sees no let-up in Covid cases, Omicron spread eases on New Year’s Day

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Maharashtra again notched a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases on Saturday though Omicron infections remained in single digits even as the government warned of dark days ahead in the third wave.

For the fourth consecutive day, the state reported a massive spike in Covid-19 cases and suspects whose samples have been sent for genome sequencing.

The state Covid-19 count shot up significantly – from 8,067 on Friday to 9,170 now – though fatalities dropped from 8 to only 7, while the mortality rate remained steady at 2.11 per cent.

After recording only four Omicron infections, the state logged six more cases of the variant, taking up the state tally from 454 to 460, with Mumbai spared of any fresh cases for the second day, health officials said.

All the six cases are from Pune district, which is ranked as the second hotspot after Mumbai as in the previous two Covid waves.

Intensive surveillance of passengers arriving at the three international airports – Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur – is currently underway since December 1.

A total of 30,728 travellers have landed here from the “high risk” countries of which 272 have tested positive and 135 from other countries, with all their reports sent for genomic sequencing to confirm if they are afflicted by Omicron.

Besides, another 1,806 samples from field surveys conducted since November 1 have been sent for genomic sequencing with the results of 102 awaited, the officials said.

Omicron has spread extensively spanning several districts in the state, with Mumbai accounting for the maximum 327 cases, followed by 62 in Pune, 31 in Thane, eight in Raigad, six each in Nagpur and Satara, five in Osmanabad, four in Palghar, three in Nanded, two each in Buldhana and Aurangabad, and 1 each in Akola, Latur, Ahmednagar, and Kolhapur.

Of the new 9,170 new Covid-19 cases, Mumbai Metropolitan Region alone accounted for 8,077 including 6,180 from the country’s commercial capital, followed by Pune circle’s 686, Nashik circle’s 162, Kolhapur circle’s 82, Nagpur circle’s 62, Latur circle’s 58, Aurangabad circle’s 31, and Akola circle’s 12.

The number of people sent to home quarantine shot up drastically, from 175,592 to 226,001 and another 1,064 have been shunted to institutional quarantine.

Mumbai, Pune and Thane remain at the top with the highest number of active cases currently in the state, with the afflictions shooting up sharply from 24,509 on Friday to 32,225 today, with a recovery rate of 97.35 per cent.

The state’s cumulative figures of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic stands at 66,87,991 cases and 141,533 deaths, and another 65,10,541 patients who have fully recovered.

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