Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Maharashtra reports rise in Covid cases with new Omicron variants

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According to a state health department bulletin, Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra have increased 17.7 percent from the previous week.

The state has reported new Covid cases, including XBB, a new sub-variant of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus discovered in parts of India, including Kerala. Aside from this, Maharashtra has reported cases from other sub-variants of Omicron, including the BA.2.3.20 and BQ.1 variants, which were discovered for the first time in India on Monday in a patient’s blood sample in Pune.

XBB, a recombinant lineage of two Omicron sublineages BJ.1 and BA.2.75, is a rapidly spreading variant that recently caused a spike in Singapore.

According to the Maharashtra Health Department, the XBB has a growth advantage over BA.2.75 as well as evasive immune properties.

According to statistics, new Covid cases in the state are expected to increase by 17.7 percent this week in the October 10-16 period compared to the October 3-9. According to the health department’s official release, this increase has been observed in Thane, Raigad, and Mumbai.

Some experts from the health department predict a rise in the coming winter season, especially in a festive environment. In Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS), BA.2.75 decreased to 76 per cent from 95 per cent.

Maharashtra’s health department and experts have asked not to ignore flu-like symptoms and seek medical advice at the earliest. They have advised observing Covid Appropriate behaviour in public places and getting vaccinated as per Government of India guidelines. Experts from the department suggest that people with comorbidities need to take extra precautions while visiting public places. People suffering from Influenza-like illnesses should avoid public contact as much as possible.

Meanwhile, the Kerala government on October 17 held a high-level meeting under health minister Veena George and said it is intensifying preventive measures in view of the new genetic variations of COVID-19 (XBB and XBB1) being reported from other parts of the world.

“Necessary instructions have been given to all the districts. The new strain is more contagious than any other strain of Covid-19 so far. Hence the resistance is strengthened. About 1.8 percent of those infected may require hospital treatment. There is no cause for concern at present. But everyone should be careful. Everyone should wear mask properly for self protection. Masks must be worn by the elderly and those with co-morbidities. The minister requested that masks should be worn at the airport and in closed places,” the Kerala health department said.

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