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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Covid to be considered pandemic until 80% of city fully vaccinated: BMC

World Health Organization Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said that Covid-19 may be entering a stage where it will become endemic.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
Updated: August 29, 2021 10:10:44 pm
Mumbai, Covid-19, BMC, pandemic, covid vaccination, indian express, indian express newsAccording to BMC data, 91.43 lakh citizens across all age groups in Mumbai have received vaccines, of whom only 24.15 lakh citizens have received both doses.(Express Photo)

With the number of daily Covid-19 cases and positivity rate constant — around 300 new cases were recorded each day in August — experts have said that the Covid-19 situation in the city is inching towards an endemic stage. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), however, has said that Covid-19 will be considered to be in a pandemic stage until 80 per cent population of the city is fully vaccinated.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), endemic refers to the “constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infectious agent in a population within a geographic area”. However, the number of cases of a disease that are considered “constant” would be different for different areas and would also depend on the particular geographical area’s population.

In a recent interview to the news website The Wire, World Health Organization Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said that Covid-19 may be entering a stage where it will become endemic, which means that some people will get infected but the levels at which it will circulate will be low to moderate.

The BMC, however, said that Covid-19 continues to be a pandemic in Mumbai. “Until 80 per cent population of the city is fully vaccinated, we will continue to consider Covid-19 to be in a pandemic stage,” said Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner, in charge of the civic health department.

According to data from BMC, of the estimated 96.7 lakh citizens above the age of 18 years, only 24.9 per cent is fully vaccinated. And 91.43 lakh citizens across all age groups in the city have received vaccines, of whom only 24.15 lakh citizens have received both doses.

As per the data, 8,97,525 citizens were eligible for a second dose through August — 80,278 of them by August 27 and 85,698 on August 31.

Swaminathan said it was “very very feasible” that the situation may continue like it is now, with ups and downs in disease levels in different parts of the country, depending upon the natural immunity and vaccine coverage in particular areas.

In the past week, Mumbai recorded more than 300 Covid-19 infections every day and a marginal increase in positivity rate.

The daily positivity rate has shown a marginal increase from 0.7 to 0.9 in the past week, with Saturday breaching the 1 per cent mark. The daily positivity rate had been below 1 since July 31.

On Sunday, the city recorded 345 new cases and positivity rate dropped to 0.7 per cent.

As the threat of a third wave looms, the BMC appealed to citizens to get tested immediately in case they turn symptomatic or come in contact with any Covid patient. In a statement on Friday, BMC said, “Citizens should get tested for Covid-19 immediately if they come in contact with Covid infected patients or find any symptoms in themselves. Free Covid test facility on behalf of BMC is available at more than 250 centres in the city.”

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