PUNE: Maharashtra's tally of active Covid cases has now dropped below the 10,000-mark for the first time in over three months. It's a major development, considering the state had over 25,000 active cases around June-end. Officials attributed the drop to clear skies and reduced rainfall. The break in the weather has also caused swine flu cases to fall. "Transmission of influenza and Covid is nearly similar. Increased rainfall and humidity can boost transmission as SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses can piggyback on moisture droplets in the air," said state surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate. Data showed that around June 9, Maharashtra had 11,571 active Covid cases. The number rose to 23,746 around June 19 and by June 27, active caseload was at 25,570. But by August 8, number of patients fell by more than half to 11,900 and by August-end, it was at 10,633. On Tuesday, the state's active caseload was at 7,701. As for SARS-CoV-2 variants, Maharashtra seems to have dodged the more serious BA.5 subvariant - its prevalence is now less than 5% in samples from the state. Dr Rajesh Karyakarte, a member of India's INSACOG network, said, "BA.5 had triggered severe infection in patients in some countries." Maharashtra is reporting a 75% prevalence of the milder BA.2.75 subvariant, which has not caused a spike in hospitalisation rates. Dr Awate said, "We are seeing a rise in BA.2.75 infections, but cases are largely mild and people are recovering at home. BA.2.75's prevalence is high in samples from Pune, Mumbai, and Thane." According to labs, the state reported 21 BA.5 patients and 216 BA.2.75 cases between August 20 and September 1. Dr Sidram K Raut, director of Noble Hospitals, said, "There has been no rise in the number of people reporting to the hospital. Widespread vaccine coverage may be a factor. But at the same time, there has been no major drop in the number of patients, which suggests many still haven't taken boosters."