Second wave or ripple, experts weigh in

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Mumbai, Mar 17 (PTI) The surge in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra in the past few days is not the ‘ripple in the first wave’ but a ‘mighty scary second wave’, a top health official said on Wednesday.

Speaking during a discussion on news channel NDTV 24×7, civic-run KEM Hospital’s Dean Hemant Deshmukh said the case numbers were now getting scary.

‘Of late, we realise that this (surge) is not a ripple in the first wave, but a mighty scary second wave itself, which is starting,’ Deshmukh told the television channel.

Deshmukh said the mortality rate was less this time, and it may be because the virulence is low.

‘A virus is likely to mutate all the time and so this mutation is definitely causing a different kind of coronavirus and a different kind of COVID-19 presentation altogether in March, 2021,’ he said.

However, Om Shrivastav, part of the state government appointed task force on the outbreak, said it was difficult to say whether the recent surge was the onset of the pandemic’s second wave, and coming to a conclusion would require scientific calculations based on several outbreak factors.

He told PTI that people must continue to strictly adhere to COVID-19 norms.

Incidentally, the Centre, in a letter to state chief secretary Sitaram Kunte had said that ‘Maharashtra is in the beginning of a second wave of COVlD-19 pandemic’ and had asked it to plan for a ‘worst-case scenario’ with sufficient lead time. PTI KK BNM BNM

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