Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra: After Mumbai-Pune surge, Vidarbha is now the epicentre | Mumbai News – Times of India

MUMBAI: The daily positivity rates of Yavatmal, Akola, Amravati and Wardha districts from Vidarbha region are higher or almost as bad as the September peak. State experts believe that if Pune and Mumbai were driving the September peak, Vidarbha is the epicentre for the February surge.
Data accessed by TOI showed that Yavatmal’s daily positivity on Sunday was a whopping 41.4%, double that of September 15, when it recorded 21.7%. Amravati’s daily positivity was 38%, higher than its September rate of 32.5%. Significantly, Wardha’s daily positivity of 24% is almost three-fold higher than September’s 8.5%. Even Akola’s positivity of 29% is marginally higher than September, although it carried out more than double tests now.

Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra peaked between September 10-30. A state official said they picked up one of the worst days (September 15) to make the comparison with ongoing positivity rate and stumbled upon the alarming rise. Six of 11 districts in Vidarbha have a high positivity rate, almost three- to four-fold of the state’s present average. In fact, state’s daily positivity rate touched 11% on Sunday, after dipping to almost half in January.
Dr T P Lahane, head, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), said hospitalisation in these districts has seen a 20-30% jump over the past two weeks. “Admissions at Government Medical College (GMC), Yavatmal, jumped from 71 on February 10, to 138 by mid-month and is now over 200. Severity appears to be less though,” he said.

Last week, genomic sequencing of four patients from Amravati had shown mutation (E484Q) and four samples from Yavatmal found the N440K mutation. Lahane said over 300 samples from the region are being studied to understand if mutations have a correlation with the surge.

At GMC, Yavatmal, dean Milind Kamble said that the only thing that separated the current incidence with the September peak is the infection of entire families. “We have at least six families whose all members are affected and currently hospitalised,” he said, adding that the hospital currently has 221 patients of which 95 are critical. “All critical patients have pneumonia, some with involvement of 4-5 lung lobes. Most have delayed coming to hospital by 10-12 days,” he said. The hospital’s oxygen requirement has jumped since January 15 when cases started to rise.
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Dr Suresh Asole, district health officer of Akola, said that they have as many active cases now (2,319) as they had in September (1,981). “We are not overwhelmed currently as most patients are stable,” he said.
The data comparison of all districts show a drastic drop in testing. The overall testing numbers for the state too show that compared to 94608 tests carried out on September 15, merely 48,141 were done on February 21

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