Mumbai Crosses 20,000 Daily Covid Cases For First Time, 85% Asymptomatic

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Mumbai Crosses 20,000 Daily Covid Cases For First Time, 85% Asymptomatic

Mumbai had reported 15,166 cases yesterday (File)

New Delhi:

Mumbai today posted a 33 per cent hike in daily cases over yesterday as it detected over 20,000 Covid infections in 24 hours for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic. Four related deaths were also recorded in the same period.

Of the fresh cases, 85 per cent show no symptoms. 1,170 patients have been hospitalised in the metropolis today with Covid and 106 are on oxygen support. The financial capital had reported 15,166 cases yesterday.

India’s financial capital has been witnessing a sudden and massive surge in Covid cases believed to be driven by the Omicron variant. The highly transmissible variant has fuelled a global spurt in cases, triggering a worldwide alarm.

There is a growing concern over the swiftly approaching third wave of infections in the city with more and more doctors and health workers testing positive in the metropolis. Over 150 doctors in the city’s King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital have contracted the virus, as have another 80 at the Sion Hospital and nearly as many at others. Across Maharashtra over 260 have tested positive so far, the Association of Resident Doctors has said. 60 employees of the city’s public transportation service also tested positive, ANI reported.

The state health department has announced today that no lockdown will be imposed, according to a report by news agency ANI.

Patients getting infected in this wave of the pandemic are reporting less severe symptoms, doctors have told NDTV while warning that the sheer number of people testing positive and requiring hospitalisation if infected with Omicron is enough to overwhelm health infrastructure.

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar told NDTV this week the city is ready for a “tsunami” of cases.

Fresh guidelines issued Tuesday night mandate all international passengers arriving in Mumbai to take an RT-PCR test. Those testing negative must then quarantine at home for a week. Those testing positive will be shifted to institutional quarantine (a hospital) or a ‘private facility’ (a hotel).

A lockdown, or a lockdown-like set of restrictions, will be only be considered after the demand for medical oxygen crosses 800 metric tonnes per day, or more than 40 per cent of hospital beds for Covid patients are occupied, the department said.

The Health Department expected the current surge in Covid cases to peak by mid-February and subside by mid-March, with Additional Chief Secretary Health Dr Pradeep Vyas predicting an active caseload of around two lakhs by the third week of this month.

However, the state has already announced new restrictions, including capping of attendance at gatherings at 50, although 200 more are allowed for weddings.

All schools and colleges in the state have been shut till February 15 and exams will be held online.

Maharashtra today reported a deeply worrying 36,265 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours – a 36.65 per cent increase over the yesterday.

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