AFTER FIVE to six months of a soaring positivity rate, Maharashtra has finally started witnessing a decline in Covid-19 infections and, according to data, between October 22 and 29, positivity rate reduced to less than 10 per cent. Jalgaon district is among the first to bring down positivity to less than 5 per cent, as per WHO norms.
The positivity rate is a key indicator of gauging transmission of the disease and is the percentage of people who test positive for the virus out of those tested. Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, said in mid-September, overall positivity rate of Maharashtra was 24.6 per cent. In the week from October 22 to 29, the positivity rate declined to 9.93 per cent, he added.
Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur and Kolhapur are among 12 districts where positivity rate is between 6 and 10 per cent. These also include Beed, Hingoli,, Nanded, Parbhani, Ratnagiri, Osmanabad, Wardha and Washim. Pune, Ahmednagar and Sangli are among 16 districts where Covid positivity rate is between 10 and 15 per cent. Others include Amaravati, Akola, Aurangabad, Bhandara, Buldhana, Gondia, Jalna, Latur, Nandurbar, Raigad, Solapur, Yavatmal and Sindhudurg.
Dhule, Palghar and Satara are three districts where positivity rate is between 15 and 20 per cent while positivity rate is more than 20 per cent in Nashik, Gadchiroli and Chandrapur.
Dr Awate said local variables also played a role in differing district trends. For instance, areas where the infection spread initially have recorded a declining trend.
He said testing had also reduced as compared to mid-September. For instance, in mid-September, close to 89,000 samples were being tested daily; this was now down to 75,000. “This is because of fewer cases at fever OPDs and reduced number of contacts of a person who tests positive for the virus,” he said.
The recovery rate in the state is 89.69 per cent and, till October 29, there were 1.27 lakh active cases. The state has reported 43,710 deaths and over 16 lakh cases.
State health department officials have not ruled out a second wave of Covid infections. They added that with the festive season round the corner, people would have to be more disciplined while celebrating festivals. Lowering the guard could see a spike in cases, Dr Awate said.
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