ROHAN SHRIVASTAV | NT
Anticipating that Goa may witness a spike in COVID-19 cases in September-October later this year, state epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betodkar on Wednesday said that these two months will be extremely crucial for the state.
“At present, it’s difficult to comment on how the virus will behave. It will depend on a lot of things including mutations…whether a new mutant will come or not. September is a month for flu and Goa’s last year’s spike came in September even though it started in June. So there is a high possibility that we may start seeing more COVID-19 cases by August-end and a spike in September-October; this two-month period will be very crucial,” Dr Betodkar said speaking to this daily.
He said the daily positivity rate in Goa is expected to drop below five per cent over the next two to three weeks.
“States like Delhi and Maharashtra saw the peak of the pandemic much earlier than ours. Hence today, their positivity rate is extremely low. We had the peak recently, our cases are still on the decline and currently, our positivity rate is still around 15 per cent. We are expecting it to fall below five per cent in two to three weeks,” the epidemiologist said.
It is pertinent to note that on May 5, 2021, the positivity rate in Goa had touched an all-time high of 51.64 per cent.
Dr Betodkar informed that even though there is a drop in new COVID-19 cases, the health services directorate will continue to test contacts of positive persons and also on priority, patients of influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI).
Medical experts including Dr Betodkar have said that the possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic may hit Goa in September.