A senior health official on Friday said a sudden drop in temperature seen in some parts of Maharashtra last week may have caused a spike in COVID-19 cases. Temperatures in east Vidarbha started dipping due to moisture coming from the Bay of Bengal and this may have ”helped the virus to spread with more speed, increasing the number of COVID-19 cases”, he claimed.
However, non observance to outbreak protocol also played a significant role in the case spike, the official said on condition of anonymity. ”The IMD, in its predictions for February, had communicated to the Centre of possible jump in COVID-19 cases if temperatures drop in the same period,” he said, adding that drop in the mercury level should not be seen as the sole reason behind the spike in cases.
”Akola, Amravati, Yavatmal, Buldana, Wardha and Nagpur are the six districts (in Vidarbha) that have reported a steady rise in coronavirus figures. The other two districts where cases have surged are Mumbai and Pune, though this could be due to migration, not maintaining COVID-19 protocol like wearing masks etc,” the official said. He said 75 samples each from Akola and Yavatmal and 100 from Amravati have been sent to NIV, Pune to check if the virus had mutated.
However, the daily Covid-19 cases in India rose to a 27-day high on Friday, crossing the 14,000 mark for the first time since January 23, as the sharp increase in the number of infections continued in Maharashtra while states such as Madhya Pradesh and Punjab also recorded an increase in cases. On Friday India recorded at least 14,059 fresh infections that is the highest in 27 days.