According to a state health department bulletin, coronavirus 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 between two Omicron sublineages BJ.1 and BA.2.75, is a rapidly spreading variant that recently caused a spike in Singapore.
According to a Maharashtra Health Department report, the XBB has a growth advantage over BA.2.75 and 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 an official release from the health department, this increase has been observed in Thane, Raigad, and Mumbai.
On October 17, India discovered the first case of Omicron’s BQ.1 subvariant in a patient sample from Pune. According to reports, the BQ.1 is a descendant of the BA.5, which is responsible for 60% of Covid cases in the United States (US).
Some health department experts predict an increase in the coming winter season, particularly in a festive setting. BA.2.75 was reduced from 95% to 76% in Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS).
The Maharashtra health department and experts have advised people not to ignore flu-like symptoms and to seek medical attention as soon as possible. They recommended following Covid Appropriate Behavior in Public Places and getting vaccinated in accordance with Government of India guidelines.
According to department experts, people with comorbidities should take extra precautions when visiting public places. People suffering from influenza-like illnesses should limit their exposure to the public as much as possible.
Meanwhile, the Kerala government held a high-level meeting on October 17 under the leadership of health minister Veena George, and stated that it is stepping up preventive measures in light of new genetic variations of COVID-19 (XBB and XBB1) being reported from other parts of the world.
“Necessary instructions have been issued to all districts. The new strain is more contagious than any other strain of Covid-19 so far, which strengthens resistance. About 1.8 percent of those infected may require hospital treatment. There is no cause for concern at this time, but everyone should be cautious.”
Everyone should wear a mask properly to protect themselves. The elderly and those with co-morbidities must wear masks. “The minister requested that masks be worn at the airport and in enclosed areas,” according to the Kerala health department.