As many as 141 Mumbai residents who had not traveled abroad recently tested positive for the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the civic body said.
Out of 153 persons who were found to have Omicron infection in the city during the day, only 12 had international travel history, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. But as per the Maharashtra government’s release, issued earlier in the evening, out of 198 Omicron cases reported in the state, a whopping 190 were from Mumbai.
The difference in state and BMC statistics could not be reconciled. As per the BMC update, the tally of Omicron-infected Mumbai residents without history of overseas travel rose to 160.
The total of Omicron cases in the city rose to 290. Of 141 Mumbai residents without travel history who tested positive to Omicron, the highest 21 are from the K-west ward which includes Andheri West, Juhu and Versova, followed by D ward that includes Malabar Hill, Mahalaxmi and Tardeo areas.
Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani told PTI that the BMC would be sending 375 more samples for genome sequencing on Friday to check if there has been a community spread of the Omicron variant.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The report was expected in five to six days, he said.
Community spread can be confirmed only after the report arrives, Mr Kakani added.
According to BMC, out of 141 Omicron-positive persons who had no travel history, 93 were fully vaccinated and three had taken one dose of coronavirus vaccine.
"Only seven patients, who are moderately symptomatic, have been hospitalized but they are not on oxygen," a late night BMC release stated.