Temperature drop link to COVID-19 surge likely: Maha official

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Mumbai, Feb 19 (PTI) A sudden drop in temperature last week in some parts of Maharashtra may have caused a spike in COVID-19 cases, a senior health official said on Friday.

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 adherence to outbreak protocol also played a significant role in the case surge, the official, on condition of anonymity, added.

'The IMD, in its a 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. PTI ND BNM BNM