Explained: The omicron surge in Mumbai & what lies ahead

February 2022 marks two months since the first case of Omicron was captured in Mumbai, the financial capital of India. While the end of December 2021 and mid-January saw the sharpest rise in Omicron cases in Mumbai, the start of February 2022 saw fewer cases.

Observing a fluctuation of Omicron cases in Mumbai, Rajesh Tope, state Health Minister, assured the public not to panic. He further stated that the hospitalization rate is quite low at 2.7 percent, and 86% of total active cases in Maharasthra are under home isolation.

It again indicates the Omicron variant to be highly transmissible yet less lethal than the Delta variant, which hiked the fatality rate early in 2021. However, the most important, genome sequencing latest reports suggest over 80% of new cases are showing Omicron infection in Mumbai, which is not a good sign for the future. It suggests possible community transmission, and controlling it can be an ardent task for the authorities.

Let’s look in more detail at Omicron transmission in Mumbai and what lies ahead for the city.

With the rise of COVID-19 cases showing the Omicron variant, the contact tracing had to be changed from door-to-door to over a call, along with lowering the RT-PCR test price in Mumbai to make it more affordable for everyone.

Omicron Symptoms

In the last 2 months to the emergence of Omicron, the symptoms have been consistent and remain mild when compared with the previous variants of SARS-CoV-2 like Delta, Alpha, etc. The notable symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Eye pain
  • Cold
  • Cough

It has been observed worldwide that a person infected with the Omicron virus shows more upper respiratory issues. This indicates the presence of virus in the mouth, nose, and throat more and fewer instances of penetrations towards lungs. As a result, the disease becomes less severe, yet highly contagious.

Change in Defense Mechanism and Controls

There has been a notable change in the treatment of Omicron cases compared to the Delta variant. The second wave, in early 2021, has seen moderate to severe cases, and many doctors started administering Remedesvir, an antiviral drug, to combat the situation. However, due to Omicron symptoms being mild, most doctors in Mumbai are not prescribing any monoclonal antibodies, antibiotics, or antiviral to patients. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan stated to the press earlier that treatment protocols will remain the same as those for Delta and Alpha, but no critical medicines are advised for mild cases.

What Lies Ahead For Mumbai

With a sharp dip in the daily cases in Mumbai since 21st January, along with a decline in fatality cases, the question looms large if the third wave has peaked or not. Still too early to say, but the data shows a flattening curve. The local authorities in Mumbai have ordered the schools to re-open. In fact, most norms were relaxed last week, but the BMS commissioner, Suresh Kamani, said the authorities will keep a sharp eye and observe the effects of unlocking for at least 15 days after relaxation. A BMC meet is scheduled next week to take a call on further relaxations.

As hospital admissions are down globally, unlike last year, many countries are even giving some liberty and freedom from wearing a mask, albeit not while transiting in public transport. The Covid Task Force officials in Mumbai are watching the situation closely and not in any hurry to take a relaxed decision. Owing to the poor air quality in Mumbai, strict covid regulations are in place and will remain so. The health authorities are encouraging the citizen to get tested at the onset of symptoms. The price of the RT-PCR test in Mumbai remains affordable.

Genome Sequencing and Booster Shots

The genome sequencing results from most of the designated labs and hospitals in Mumbai indicate community transmission, which is overall mild in nature. Most of the infected people are found to be fully vaccinated, yet the multiple mutations in Omicron’s spike protein have the capability to surpass the vaccine effect. However, Doctors are showing a positive outlook about the booster shots or third vaccine and are encouraging the government and authorities to speed up the process of booster shots for frontline workers and the elderly. ‘Booster will definitely add value to the immunity of a person and can help fight the virus and mitigate the severity, said Dr. Sujit Chatterjee from L H Hiranandani Hospital.

Many private labs and hospitals in Mumbai have been at the front of the war with SARS-CoV-2 and doing everything necessary to bring the ray of hope for an ‘endemic’. One such lab, SpiceHealth, is offering quality and affordable healthcare to all and believes it is the right for every human. The renowned lab was the first in India to provide mobile testing to remote areas. It offers home service collection as well. If you or your loved one are planning to be tested for COVID-19, you can book an RT-PCR test online in Mumbai and nearby cities. SpiceHealth’s RT-PCR test price in Mumbai starts from INR 499*. Click here to book now –

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