For the second consecutive day, Maharashtra recorded more than 1,000 Covid-19 cases on Thursday. While the state had recorded 1,081 cases on Wednesday, the number dipped to 1,048 on Thursday. Of the new 1,048 cases, Mumbai recorded 704 cases, which accounts for 67 per cent of the total cases in Maharashtra. On Wednesday, the city had recorded 739 infections.
The test positivity rate – the number of positive cases detected among the tests conducted – stood at 7.3 per cent in Mumbai with 9,544 tests conducted.
“It is too early to claim that the sudden surge is due to the fourth wave. We have to observe the spike for one or two weeks to come to a conclusion. However, it is believed that it’s a blip in the ongoing endemic phase,” said Dr Pradip Awate, the state surveillance officer.
Given the rise in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai, the BMC said on Thursday that it is looking at increasing the number of tests being conducted from the current below 10,000 to around 25,000 per day. The BMC’s testing figures have remained below 10,000, with an exception on April 24, when 10,946 tests were conducted. The civic body has carried out 9,544 tests since Wednesday evening, taking the total of samples tested so far in the city to 1,71,55,020.
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Municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal had on Wednesday directed officials to ramp up testing. Additional Municipal Commissioner Dr Sanjeev Kumar said, “In the past, we have handled two Covid-19 waves very well and this time, too, we would be able to tackle any rise in cases. Most of those testing positive are asymptomatic and hospital beds are available. But we will ramp up testing facilities to around 25,000 per day if required.”
Health officials claimed that the symptoms being observed this time are mild. “Nearly 90 per cent of the patients are asymptomatic and recovering with three to four days of developing the symptoms,” said an official.
According to doctors, most of the patients who are being hospitalised are senior citizens who suffer from comorbidities. As per BMC data, as on June 1, of the 845 ventilator beds available, only three are occupied. Similarly, of the 1,524 ICU beds available in the city, only 24 were occupied.
While both RT-PCR and antigen tests are being carried out at several locations in Mumbai, especially in high footfall areas, BMC had stopped organising testing camps outside malls, parking lots and slums due to a drop in cases and lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.
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