India: XBB.1.16 variant of coronavirus no cause for concern, says Maharashtra health minister

The present wave will come down to the endemic stage by May 15 and a downward trend will be seen next month, says Sawant

By PTI

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Healthcare workers show swab samples for Covid-19 test, amid a rise in coronavirus cases in Jammu, on Saturday, April 22, 2023. — PTI
Healthcare workers show swab samples for Covid-19 test, amid a rise in coronavirus cases in Jammu, on Saturday, April 22, 2023. — PTI

Published: Sat 22 Apr 2023, 3:37 PM

Last updated: Sat 22 Apr 2023, 3:38 PM

Maharashtra Health Minister Tanaji Sawant on Saturday said the XBB.1.16 variant of coronavirus which is prevalent currently is no cause for concern and people should not panic due to the rise in cases.

The present wave will come down to the endemic stage by May 15 and a downward trend will be seen next month, the minister said at a function here.

Maharashtra on Friday reported 993 Covid-19 cases and five deaths.

According to the state health department, the XBB.1.16 is the dominant variant of Omicron that was driving the case surge in the state. So far, 681 cases caused by this variant have been detected and five infected persons have succumbed in the state.

The minister was speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the new 900-bed district civil super-speciality hospital in Thane city. The ceremony was performed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

Speaking on the occasion, Shinde said the Thane District Civil Hospital played a major role in the development of the Shiv Sena in Thane and surrounding districts.

The new super-speciality hospital will be constructed on the same land where the existing medical facility stands.

The new hospital will have all super-speciality facilities including air ambulance, he said.

Shinde further said his government has introduced several initiatives in the health sector, including the Balasaheb Thackeray Aapla Davakhana scheme under which people can get quick medical treatment near their homes.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, doctors and other medical staff at the civil hospital proved their commitment due to which many patients preferred availing treatment there, he said.

Sawant said the hospital building would likely to be completed by August 2024.


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