In a relief of sorts, Maharashtra has not recorded a single case of the ‘Omicron’ variant, for the past two months, though Covid-19 infections are again rising gradually, health officials said.
The last 61 Omicron instances were disclosed on March 6, nearly three months after the first one was confirmed on December 4, 2021, sending shockwaves through the medical community.
The first victim was a 33-year-old Thane marine engineer who arrived in Mumbai from South Africa through New Delhi on November 23, tested positive on November 27, and received his Omicron positive report on December 4.
He was hospitalised to a hospital in Kalyan-Dombivali and treated for Omicron for 11 days before being discharged.
Since then, the state has seen a steady increase in Omicron cases, with the total number reaching 5,726, the highest in India.
Not wanting to take any chances, the state government kept a close eye on international airports in Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur, as well as other domestic airports, and conducted random checks on lakhs of passengers to screen out the infected.
Hospitals in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, and other regions where a substantial number of Omicron cases had been reported were placed on high alert, and the issue was finally brought under control three months later.
On April 6, the state had another worry when a possible Omicron XE variant infectee – a 50-year-old South African film costume designer – was discovered, but the Centre later refuted the claim.
The first – and so far only – case of Omicron XE was verified on April 9 in a 67-year-old Mumbaikar who tested positive on a visit to Vadodara.
Except for one Omicron XE case on April 9, the state has been Omicron-free for the past two months.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 cases have resumed their upward trend, surpassing the 200-mark for the first time since mid-March this week.
Till date, the state has notched 78,78,801 total infections and 147,845 deaths since the pandemic started in March 2020, while another 1,161 ‘active cases’ are under treatment.