COVID cases jump from 7 to 40 in four days in district

While it is too early to say third wave is coming, it is definitely a clear signal for caution: AMC Principal

January 02, 2022 12:22 am | Updated 12:22 am IST - Visakhapatnam

A man goes around urging people to wear masks , on Beach Road in Visakhapatnam.

A man goes around urging people to wear masks , on Beach Road in Visakhapatnam.

The COVID-19 cases in the district jumped from a daily count of 7 to 40, within a span of just four days, signalling a rise in cases and cautioning about the possible third wave.

On December 28, the number of cases recorded in the district was just seven and on December 29 it was 17. Thereafter it was 30 on December 30, 31 on December 31 and 40 on January 1, 2022.

The rise has been steady and the medical fraternity is watching the trend cautiously. Though it is too early to say that it could be a confirmed indication for the predicted third wave, but it is definitely a clear signal for caution, said P.V. Sudhakar, the Principal of Andhra Medical and District COVID Special Officer.

Festive rush

As per the initial assessment of the medical experts, festive shopping rush, lavish weddings and rush at places of worship, could be the possible cause for the sudden rise in cases.

Since the month of December is considered to be a holy month, many places of worship saw a huge rush of people and the shopping malls were packed. People were seen at malls without masks or not wearing the masks properly, said Dr. Sudhakar.

Being an auspicious month, the number of weddings was also on the higher side, and many families did not follow the norms of restricting the number of guests.

Though there is a rise in the cases, the experts are unable to confirm whether the rise continue to be with the Delta variant or the new variant Omicron. Experts feel that since cases have just begun to rise and the numbers are still under 100 per district, it is advisable that samples of all positive cases be sent for genome sequencing. “Only then we will be able to say whether the Delta continues to hold its sway or the new one is making its presence felt,” said a senior doctor from King George Hospital.

The experts feel that the more number of genome sequencing machines should be procured by the State government and established in all major cities.

As of now, Tirupati and Vijayawada have got the machines but they are still to be operational. The experts feel that another machine should be installed at Visakhapatnam in the laboratory at KGH.

Currently the samples are being sent to CCMB, Hyderabad, and it takes about a week’s time for the result. In the USA the results are given on the same day and that is why they are able to track the virus variant. If we have three machines operational at Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati, then we can have the results in one or two days at least. And since the cases are now below 100, all samples can be sent for genome sequencing, “Once it exceeds 100, then we can randomise the sequencing. But by that time, we will be in a position to confirm and track the variant,” said Dr. Sudhakar.

The district recorded 40 cases in the last 24 hours ending Saturday morning, taking the cumulative total to 1,59,465. During the same period, 12 persons were discharged taking the total discharges to 1,58,173.

No deaths were recorded, keeping the death count at 1,108 and the active cases jumped to 184 from 113, as on December 28.

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