Maharashtra minister hints at possibility of fourth wave of COVID says situation could change drastically within weeks
New Delhi: At a time when China, South Korea and a few other countries are witnessing a massive rise in coronavirus cases, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has hinted at the possibility of a fourth wave of Covid, raising new concerns in various quarters.ALSO READ – Corona cases are back on the rise: China reports first COVID death in over a year; Fauci warns of US lockdown
In addition, a senior health official also warned that the situation, which is now comfortable across the state, could change “drastically” in the coming weeks due to the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus. “Almost all restrictions have been eased in the state, some new variants are suspected of fueling infections in Israel and other countries,” said Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Dr Pradeep Vyas. Also Read – Maharashtra records fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases for the first time since the start of the pandemic
He also issued a precautionary notice to all collectors, city commissioners, Zilla Parishad CEOs and others asking them to be vigilant. “Covid cases are now steadily increasing in different parts of the world, including China and Europe with a weekly growth of 8-10% and over 11 million per week. Although at the moment we are quite comfortable with only around 2,000 ‘active’ Covid cases, but the situation could change drastically over the next few weeks,” he claimed. Also Read – Will the 4th wave of COVID hit India? Prominent virologist says probability low but need to be vigilant
Furthermore, he reiterated the need to prevent crowding, wearing of masks, vigilance in identifying clusters of SARI and ILI cases and increasing their surveillance, in addition to catching up on vaccination because the state is below the national average.
Corona cases are back on the rise | Key points
- Meanwhile, China is battling its worst outbreak in two years, driven by a rise in the highly transmissible variant of omicron. Yesterday, Chinese health authorities reported two deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, the first since January 2021.
- Both deaths were reported in Jilin province in elderly patients and were the result of their underlying conditions, Jiao Yahui, an official with the National Health Commission, said at a press conference on Saturday. Hong Kong, which is facing its worst surge of the pandemic, recorded 16,583 new cases on Saturday.
- The city’s total coronavirus infections topped 1 million on Friday, and its death toll has already surpassed that of mainland China.
- Health authorities in South Korea have raised concerns about the highly transmissible variant of Omicron amid the government’s decision to move away from strict social distancing.
- Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to US President Joe Biden, has warned that the US could face additional lockdown measures if the new BA.2 subvariant increases the rate of infections among Americans.
- Prominent virologist and former professor, CMC Vellore Dr T Jacob John meanwhile claimed the likelihood of COVID 4and the wave is extremely low but everyone must be vigilant.
- “I don’t understand how fear should be instilled in human beings and for what purpose. So I don’t believe in predicting a wave based on mathematical modeling. I told you about the mathematical modeling problems that computers had with type 2 polio vaccines. Mathematical modeling is good if all the elements that go into the mathematical modeling are good. So there is no need to be afraid of the wave,” Dr John told ANI.