In early February when it looked like India had won its battle against the coronavirus, Amravati district in Maharashtra recorded a surge in infections. In fact, the district turned into a hotspot, as per a report by BBC.
In January, the district had just 500 active cases. However, it quickly went up to 3,090 cases in February. By February-end, the number increased to 6,600. The spike forced authorities to impose a 10-day lockdown in February and the district saw a slight dip in cases. It came down to 2,935 in March, as reported by News18.
However, the respite was short-lived as cases started going up again. As of May 17, Amravati district had 10,205 active cases and 1,208 deaths.
This comes in the backdrop of declining cases in the rest of the state. The 'M' shaped spike in cases has puzzled experts.
Mutations Could Be Behind Spurt In Cases
Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, a medical epidemiologist and a health system expert, is of the opinion that a surge in cases indicates that measures on the ground are not working. In the district, rural areas account for about 83 percent of fresh cases.
A member of the state's COVID task force said that mutations could be behind the spurt in cases in the district. The dominant Indian variant of the virus, which has now been detected in more than 50 countries, was found in Amravati in February itself.
A look at the transmission trend within the district shows that Amravati Municipal Corporation was driving the January spurt, while the rest of the district, including its semi-urban and rural areas, drove up the April numbers.
On February 28, for instance, the corporation area reported 632 new cases while the rest of the district had recorded 230 cases. The trend has completely reversed now. On May 15, for example, the corporation saw 219 detections, but the rest of the district contributed to 736 cases.
The district is also witnessing a sharp rise in the deaths of younger age groups.