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Maharashtra’s 7-day positivity rate rises to 1.6%; at 2.3%, Mumbai is a cause for concern

At 2.3%, the seven-day positivity rate of Mumbai is the highest in Maharashtra, according to data provided by the public health department.

Written by Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai |
Updated: December 30, 2021 12:10:20 pm
Outstation passengers arriving in Mumbai are tested at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus on Tuesday afternoon.

AFTER A gap of two months, the seven-day positivity rate for Covid-19 in Maharashtra has risen to 1.6%.

At 2.3%, the seven-day positivity rate of Mumbai is the highest in Maharashtra, according to data provided by the public health department.

Nine districts – Ahmednagar, Kolhapur, Mumbai, Nashik, Palghar, Pune, Raigad, Sangli and Thane – have recorded a higher seven-day positivity rate than the state’s average, the data stated.

Out of the 7,49,068 tests conducted between December 21 and 27, 12,048 patients were detected with Covid-19 in the state, with a 1.6% positive rate. In the same period last month, the state recorded a 1% seven-day positivity rate with 6,699 people testing positive for Covid-19 out of 6,42,472 tests conducted.

Between November 21 and 27, the seven-day positivity rate in Mumbai stood at 0.8% with 1,883 persons detected with Covid-19 among the 2,27,426 tests conducted. However, after a month, in December, the seven-day positivity rate flared up to 2.3%. Data showed, of the 2,77,911 tests conducted, 6,304 individuals were detected with novel coronavirus.

Health minister Rajesh Tope said that on Tuesday, the positivity rate of Mumbai surged drastically to 4%, adding it would be alarming if it rose above 5%.

“In the second wave, the positivity rate had shot up to 7-8%, which doubled up the active Covid-19 cases. To avoid such a situation, if the positivity rate increases further, more restrictions might be imposed. We are already penalising the violators but the public needs to be more responsible,” he said.

Mumbai’s seven-day positivity rate is followed by Pune (2.2%), Nashik (1.4%), Sangli (1.3%), Thane (1.3%), Ahmednagar (1.3%), Palghar (1.2%), and Kolhapur (1.1%).

District health officers attribute the sudden surge in positivity rate to the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, which has increased the movement of the citizens from Mumbai for occupational purposes and family affairs.

“In the last week of November, Thane had a 0.9% seven-day positivity rate. But with the growth of cases in Mumbai, the infection in Thane also increased as people are getting infection while travelling or attending family gatherings. The same pattern was also being observed in the first and second wave,” said Dr Prasad Patil, medical officer, Thane Municipal Corporation.

Another factor that is adding to the woes of the authorities is people reaching Mumbai via neighbouring states after imposition of Covid-19 surveillance for international fliers at the airport. Recently, a 19-year-old Vasai resident who returned from Kenya, one of the high-risk countries, tested Covid-19 positive in Hyderabad. Not only did he manage to skip compulsory quarantine but to avoid RT-PCR testing at the Mumbai airport, he travelled to the city via road from Hyderabad, officials said. Later, on December 20, he was detected with the new variant – Omicron.

“Neither he nor Hyderabad officials informed us that he was detected with Covid-19. It was one of the neighbours who contacted us,” said Dr Pramod Patil, medical health officer.

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