Maharashtra government warns of Covid-19 peak ahead of holiday season

Mumbai: Following a 17.7 percent increase in coronavirus cases in Maharashtra this week compared to last week, the state’s health department on Monday (October 17) cited the XBB variant, which was also released for the first time in the country found such as winters and the holidays as factors that could fuel further spikes. An official health bulletin said the XBB variant reported in the state had “growth advantage over BA.2.75 and immune-evasive properties.”

Variants BA.2.3.20 and BQ.1 have also been detected in the state, a first for the country, it added.
It said new COVID-19 cases increased by 17.17 percent in the period October 10-16 compared to last week between October 3-9, with the rise especially noted in densely populated Thane, Raigad and Mumbai.

“Some experts predict an increase (in cases) in the coming winter season, especially in festive settings,” the bulletin warned.

It said the proportion of BA.2.75, an Omicron subvariant, among the detected cases had fallen from 95 percent to 76 percent.

The state health department said people should not ignore flu-like symptoms and seek medical advice at the earliest.

“They should observe appropriate Covid-19 behavior at the earliest. Persons with co-morbidities should take extra precautions when visiting public places. Persons suffering from a flu-like illness should avoid public contact as much as possible,” the department bulletin advised.

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