6,347 New Coronavirus Cases in Mumbai, 12% Higher Than Yesterday


6,347 New Coronavirus Cases in Mumbai, 12% Higher Than Yesterday

Omicron: The B.1.1.529 strain was first identified in South Africa last week (File)

Mumbai:

Mumbai on Saturday reported 6,347 new Covid cases in 24 hours – a 12 per cent jump from yesterday and an alarming increase from Thursday’s 3,671 and Wednesday’s 2,510.

The surge in cases in the country’s financial capital – which was the worst-affected city for large parts of the second wave – adds to growing panic surrounding the Omicron variant, which was present in over half of 282 samples tested at one lab, Mumbai authorities said yesterday.

The rapid increase in Covid cases in the city and across Maharashtra have triggered a number of restrictions on movement and gatherings, including 5 pm – 5 am night curfews at beaches and parks.

Mumbai Police has also banned large gatherings till January 15.

Fearing another avalanche of Covid cases, the city’s civic body – the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) – has reactivated its ward-level ‘war rooms’ to tackle the brewing crisis.

On Thursday Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray met with the state’s Covid task force and one of points discussed was Omicron – the variant believed to be behind this surge in infections.

Stricter Covid rules and regulations on movement, vaccination and travel are likely, particularly since Maharashtra already has 454 confirmed Omicron Covid cases – the most of any state.

A state-wide lockdown has not been ruled out, despite the negative impact on the Maharashtra economy and how that could affect the country.

Maharashtra reported 8,067 new Covid cases on Friday – an increase of nearly 2,700 cases from the day before – to continue a steady increase in daily cases over the past 12 days.

The state reported just 2,172 new cases on December 29 and 1,45 6 on December 28.

Earlier on Saturday the centre wrote to state and UTs to advise them to set up makeshift hospitals and form special teams to fight COVID-19 amid growing national alarm over the Omicron variant.

Data shared by the Union Health Ministry indicates that thickly-populated metro cities like Mumbai and Delhi are seeing some of the most worrying increase in Covid cases, with the national capital having already logged over 350 Omicron Covid cases.

The centre has also urged all states and UTs to ramp up testing to quickly identify and isolate Covid-positive people, particularly those who may be carrying the Omicron strain.

The country has reported over 1,400 Omicron cases overall, with Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat the unwelcome leaders on that front.

India on Saturday reported 22,775 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours.

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