Mumbai Seeing Fourth Covid-19 Wave? Schools To Remain Open, Masks May Be Back

Maharashtra on Sunday reported 1,494 fresh Covid-19 cases, including 961 in Mumbai. Sunday was the fourth consecutive day when the state reported more than 1,000 cases. 

Covid cases rising in Mumbai, Maharashtra

Even as healthcare experts remain optimistic about India's Covid-19 recovery Covid-19 wave, a sharp rise in cases in Maharashtra has led to concern among healthcare professionals and officials in the state.  After months of relatively low case count, India is once again witnessing a sharp rise in the number of infections. A surge in cases in Maharashtra and Kerala are being attributed for the spike in the national numbers as well. 

Cases rising in Maharashtra 

Maharashtra on Sunday reported 1,494 fresh Covid-19 cases, including 961 in Mumbai, and one fatality due to the infection, taking the tally of infections to 78,93,197 and the toll to 1,47,866.  The state had recorded 1,357 new coronavirus infections and one pandemic-related death the day before.

Sunday is the fourth consecutive day when the state reported more than 1,000 cases.  There are 6,767 active cases now across Maharashtra.  

Spike in Mumbai

Mumbai saw 961 fresh cases and one COVID-19 fatality, raising the tally to 10,68,936  and the death toll to 19,569. The Mumbai division reported 1,362 new infections, taking the total number of cases to 22,46,796. The overall COVID-19 death toll in the Mumbai region is 39,840.

The Nashik division reported 13 new cases, Pune division 99, Kolhapur division 2, Aurangabad division eight, Latur division one, Akola division four, and Nagpur division reported five cases. 

Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said he tested positive for coronavirus and is in home isolation. The former Chief Minister who is the leader of opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly had earlier also contracted the viral infection in October 2020. 

Fourth Wave in Mumbai?

On Sunday, state tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray said that Mumbai may be witnessing a potential fourth wave of Covid-19. He added that wearing masks may soon become mandatory in light of rising cases.

“We are asking everyone to wear masks when stepping outdoors. We have not made wearing masks mandatory but will make it soon. I also appeal to the public to receive the booster dose of the vaccine on time,” Thackeray was quoted as saying by media outlets. However, he added that there was no need to panic as number of deaths in the state remained low.

What is causing the spike in Mumbai?

According to reports, the arrival of. anew Covid-19 strain BA.2.12.2 coupled with a dip in the mercury with the onset of monsoons in Maharashtra may have caused a Covid-19 surge in Mumbai. Virologists had earlier predicted an uptick in cases with a drop in temperatures earlier in April. Experts and virologists are now advising the public to follow Covid-19 protocols and not ignore flu-like symptoms that might be Covid.

On Friday, the central government had asked five states — Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Karnataka — to closely monitor the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases. 

With spiking cases, Maharashtra minister Nitin Raut has blamed Delhi for the spike in cases. The INC leader said that a spike in Nagpur was being caused by persons returning from Delhi to Nagpur and testing positive in the city.

Schools To Open, Caution Recommeneded

Despite the spike in cases, however, Maharashtra education minister E Gaikwad confirmed that schools will be scheduled to open on June 15 as per plans. Schools will follow covid-19 protocols but wearing masks, for now, has not been made mandatory for students.