Updated: March 4, 2021 9:10:38 am
Mumbai’s witnessing a dip in fresh Covid-19 cases on Monday and Tuesday may have been due to a reduction in daily testing – from more than 20,000 tests per day last week to between 16,000 to 18,000 in the first two days of March. But on Wednesday, the number of cases again went up to 1,121 after BMC conducted 21,752 tests.
The day also saw an increase in the number of deaths with six persons succumbing to Covid-19, taking the city’s toll to 11,487. There are 8,694 active infections.
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On Tuesday, Mumbai had diagnosed 849 new cases against 18,469 tests. A day before, 855 cases were found from 16,451 tests. Between February 23 and February 28, 21,000 to 23,000 tests a day were being conducted and more than 1,000 cases detected daily.
The city’s positivity rate, which had remained the same over the last one week – around 4.5 per cent – rose to 5.1 per cent on Wednesday. Until January, it was 2.5 per cent.
Health officials said they have been planning to scale up the vaccination drive that began for the general public on March 1.
Mumbai is conducting contact tracing of over 13,000 people a day, of which over 8,000 fall in the high-risk category. On an average, 13 to 15 people per case are being traced.
Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the state Covid-19 task force, said that disease surveillance continues to remain stringent and the daily drop in cases could mean a dip in the infection. “If less number of people are testing positive through contact tracing, it means less people are getting infected.”
Professor Sandeep Juneja, dean of School of Technology and Computer Science at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, said the dip in cases on the first two days of March could have also been due to behavioural changes among people. “We started witnessing a rise in cases after February 9, a week after local trains reopened for the general public. By February 18-19, the government tightened the belt around Covid surveillance. It is possible that stringent monitoring of Covid norms led to behavioural changes and decline in infection,” he added.
In M West ward, where a significant spike in cases has been noticed since February, medical officer Dr Bhupendra Patil said that 6 per cent positivity rate has been reported in Govandi and Chembur.
“We are testing hawkers and bank employees to break the chain of transmission at common public places.”
Dr Jeetendra Jadhav, medical officer in L ward, said average cases have risen from 20 to 25 to 30 to 35 daily in three weeks. “People are resisting undergoing tests. Nehru Nagar has become a hotspot. It covers L and M West wards. People are not wearing masks… We are filing cases against violators,” he added.
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