Corona strain, gatherings causing rise in cases

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Dr Ravi Wankhedkar

 Rohit Shishodia
Rising cases of Covid in Maharashtra have worried experts. They have blamed non-practicing of Covid appropriate behavior, large gatherings and possibility of transmission of mutated strain in the state.

It may be noted that state chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has banned all kinds of gatherings, including political, social and religious ones, to prevent further spread.

Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, who hails from Maharashtra, and is Past President of IMA, told DTMT that people are careless and they don’t follow Covid appropriate behavior that includes physical distancing, mask wearing or face covering and hand hygiene.  

“No one is following precautions. Large gatherings have become common. The presence of mutated strain in the state due to large scale travel may be the reason for spreading of the virus. Travel from the UK, USA and other locations and also interstate travel brings in asymptomatic carriers,” said Dr Wankhedkar.

“More than 250 mutations have been noted worldwide. Unfortunately, India does not do genetic testing as much of Covid positive patients. This is alarming. Only silver lining is that the severity of the disease is less,” he explained.

Not just Maharashtra, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Chhattisgarh have reported increase in cases of Covid

The central government has directed these states to improve the overall testing numbers by focusing on increasing the proportion of RT-PCR tests.

The government has said that all negative Rapid Antigen Test results should be mandatorily followed by RT-PCR test and no such negative persons are to be missed.

“There should be refocus on strict and comprehensive surveillance as well as stringent containment in selected districts. Regular monitoring of the mutant strains through testing followed by Genome Sequencing, as well as monitoring of the emerging cluster of cases should be done,” read the government directions.

The government has said that the state should focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths.


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