MUMBAI: Amid the scare caused by the Omicron variant of coronavirus, a senior official of the Maharashtra health department has said that the Delta strain of the virus still accounts for the maximum number of infection cases in the state as revealed by the genome sequencing of the patients' samples.
Dr Pradeep Vyas, additional chief secretary of the health department, in a letter written to his colleagues on Wednesday said that the Delta variant was found in 68 per cent samples, out of the over 4,200 analysed, while the remaining 32 per cent patients were found infected with the Omicron strain.
The Delta variant had wreaked havoc during the second wave of the pandemic last year. The Omicron strain, which was first detected in South Africa in November 2021, started spreading in India from the first week of December. Till Friday night, Maharashtra has reported 1,605 Omicron cases, while its overall Covid-19 infection tally has jumped to 71,24,278.
"Since November 1 last year, the samples of 4,265 Covid-19 patients were sent for genome sequencing. The results of 4,201 cases have been issued, which indicate that Omicron variant was detected in 1,367 cases or in 32 per cent, while the prevalence of Delta variant was found in the remaining 68 per cent cases," Dr Vyas said in the letter.
It also said that of the 2,40,133 active coronavirus cases in Maharashtra till Wednesday (January 12), 90 per cent patients were in home isolation or in COVID Care Centres.
"We have seen three weeks of the present surge in Covid-19 infections. Till January 12, there were 2,40,133 active COVID-19 cases, of which 90.9 per cent were either in home isolation or in COVID Care Centre. Only 21,783 patients or 9.1 per cent of the total active cases were in hospital," the letter said.
Of these hospitalised patients, 16,175 or 74.2 per cent had mild symptoms and 5,608 of them or 2.3 per cent needed ICU or oxygen support. Only 700 patients, which is about 0.29 per cent of the total active cases, were on ventilators, he said.
The official also maintained that the present surge is mainly restricted to cities and areas like Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Palghar Pune and Nagpur, which relatively have better anti-coronavirus vaccination coverage.
He asked his colleagues that these observations should be taken into consideration while gearing up to tackle the present surge, he said.