On Monday, the Maharashtra government announced the re-opening of schools.
Maharashtra has reported the biggest jump in Covid infections in the last four months with 3,081 new cases, with Mumbai alone accounting for 1,956 cases. The number of active cases till Friday night was 9,191. According to the Maharashtra state health department, there were no Covid-related deaths on Friday.
Sudhir Mehta, lead and co-ordinator, Pune Platform for Covid-19 Response, said the number of cases was on the upswing and, as expected, Covid was lingering with smouldering and sudden upticks. “Incidence is high but the severity is low. We do not expect any adverse impact as we have to live with Covid and Covid-appropriate behaviour,” he said.
Meanwhile, there has been no impact on industrial activities or business events in Pune or Mumbai, Mehta, who is also the president of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce and Industries and CMD of Pinnacle Industries, said.
Quantitative social scientist and founder of CPC Analytics, Sahil Deo, who has been tracking Covid-19 data for two years, said even as cases were rising, the severity has been low and there is hardly any hospitalisation, so there is no concern as of now.
On Monday, the Maharashtra government announced the re-opening of schools. However, wearing masks has not been made mandatory.
Meanwhile, it is business as usual across the state with malls reporting high footfalls. Pune’s Amanora Mall has seen footfalls and sales increase and cross the pre-pandemic level with the last three months showing exceptional growth of 25-30% above the pre-pandemic level, Surojit Singh Rajpurohit, chief operating officer of Amanora Mall, said.
Rajpurohit said they would be watching the situation closely and it would all depend on how the next 10 to 15 days pan out.
Nexus Westend mall in Pune and Nexus Seawoods in Mumbai, too, has seen a sustained recovery trend in the first quarter of FY22 across its portfolio and was at close to 130% of its pre-Covid sales till the end of May 2022. The June 1 to 11 period saw 100% footfall and sales had been at similar 130% levels. There was no drop in sales or footfall this month so far.
As cases have risen, there has been an increase in the demand for self-test kits for Covid-19.
Hasmukh Rawal, founder and MD of Mylab Discovery Solutions, said they have seen an increase in the demand for CoviSelf with a 30-40% month-on-month increase in May and June first week. “We saw an uptick in demand from north around mid-May and this month the rise in demand was seen in the western and southern parts of the country,” Raval said. Mylab has a capacity to produce 1.5 million test kits a day.
To ensure adequate testing for early identification of cases and getting an accurate picture of the level of infection spread, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan had on Thursday written to states and Union territories to ensure a high level of testing and monitoring the share of RT-PCR in total tests conducted. He urged the states not to lower their guard and build on the progress made so far to bring the pandemic situation under control.