Mumbai: Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, medical experts say most of the patients are showing mild symptoms and fatality is low in the present ”mild wave”, and also no new virus variant of concern has been observed. The patients were being administered paracetamol, and not Remdesivir drug, which was used for patients in the first and second COVID-19 waves, they said. According to the health department data, Maharashtra recorded 9,354 COVID-19 cases in May, of which 5,980 were reported from Mumbai. The state also recorded 17 fatalities last month.
From June 1 to 12, there were 23,941 COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, of which 14,945 were reported from Mumbai alone. The state has recorded 12 fatalities from June 1 to 12. Dr. Sunil Bhaisare, associate professor of medicine at the state-run J J Hospital in Mumbai, told PTI that though there is a spurt in COVID-19 cases, the patients are showing mild symptoms. Mumbai, the country’s financial capital, sees a lot of international passengers. Besides, all COVID-19 restrictions, including wearing of masks, have been lifted, he noted. Bahais, who manages a COVID-19 facility at state-run St George Hospital in south Mumbai, said at present his facility has only 19 patients – most of them are either prisoners or those in police custody. “No patient is requiring oxygen support. If they are coming up with any kind of complaint, we are administering only paracetamol and other supportive treatment,” Bhaisare said. Dr. Manjusha Agarwal, senior consultant-internal medicine at the Global Hospital in Mumbai, said in the present COVID-19 surge, patients are getting better in 48 to 72 hours. “Nobody required Remdesivir or any immunotherapy. The patients are not having major complications. So, the good thing is that vaccination has helped everyone,” she said.
Even as cases rise, Agarwal said there is nothing to worry, about and described the current surge as a “mild wave” compared to what was seen in January this year. “This is the mildest wave of COVID-19 that I have seen,” she said but stressed that precautions like wearing masks and following COVID-19 protocols are still very important.
Dr. Rakesh Mishra, director of the Tata Institute for Genetics and Society in Bengaluru, said no new variant of concern has been observed nor has there been any indication of a new variant in the country. On May 28, the Maharashtra health department said that for the first time, four patients of B.A.4 variant and three cases of B.A. 5 variants of the Omicron sub-lineage of coronavirus were found in the state. All the seven cases were from Pune.
Besides, one case each of B.A.5 was reported on June 7 and 11 in Pune. Dr. Sonam Solanki, consultant pulmonologist at the Masina Hospital in Mumbai, said a significant rise in the COVID-19 cases is being seen since last week and it is expected to go up further. The predominant variant in this surge is a sub-lineage of Omicron which is B.A.5 and B.A.4. Although these strains are more transmissible, the majority of the cases are mild and get managed with home isolation, she said. The vulnerable, elderly population with co-morbidities would still be at the risk of infection, Solanki said.