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Friday, September 17, 2021

Weekly Covid positivity rate rises again in Pune, now more than double of state average

While the weekly Covid positivity rate in the week of August 18 to 24 in Pune was 5.5 %, it rose to 6.15% in the week of August 25 to 31.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: September 2, 2021 7:14:51 am
Covid-19 vaccination underway at Mavle hospital, Pune. (Express photo by Ashish Kale)

Pune district remains among ‘districts of concern’ in Maharashtra, with a rising weekly Covid-19 positivity rate that is currently over two times higher than the state average.

While the weekly Covid positivity rate in the week of August 18 to 24 in Pune was 5.5 %, it rose to 6.15% in the week of August 25 to 31.

Maharashtra’s Covid positivity rate also rose in the week of August 25 to 31, to 2.58%, compared to the week of August 18 to 24, when it was 2.5%, according to a report by the state Health Department.

District health authorities said efforts were being taken to expedite vaccinations. As part of a special mega vaccination drive on August 31, a total of 1.89 lakh vaccine doses were administered in Pune Rural itself.

Dr Abhay Tidake, additional district health officer of Pune, said a special campaign has been undertaken in the district to aggressively test, track and treat for Covid-19. “As part of this campaign, we were able to identify 109 villages which were hotspots (where each village had more than 10 cases). Surveys are underway and our teams are visiting the areas – specially in industrial zones like Baramati, Shirur, Chakan where movement of people has picked up,” he said.

According to the report, Pune district accounted for 21 per cent of active cases of Covid-19 in the state in the last 10 days. From August 22 to 31, the state has reported 44,366 new Covid-19 infections, of which 30,888 new infections were from five districts – Pune (9,506) Ahmednagar (7,014), Satara (5,390), Solapur (4,692) and Sangli (4,286).

Districts where the weekly Covid-19 positivity rate is higher than the state average are Ahmednagar (4.85%), Sangli (4.02%) Satara (3.97%) Osmanabad (3.56%), Sindhudurg (3.18%), Solapur (2.60%) and Ratnagiri (2.59%).

“With increased testing, it is expected that there will be a decline in the positivity rate,” Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, told The Indian Express. He said it was also important to understand what percentage of breakthrough infections has contributed to the positivity rate.

With the festive season round the corner, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope had earlier cautioned that there was a need to learn lessons from the Kerala example. After some recent festivals in Kerala, there was a jump in Covid infections in the state, with 31,000 new cases reported on a single day.

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Nagpur, Dhule, Jalgaon among 17 districts with fewer than 100 Covid cases

According to the Health Department report, 17 districts, including Nagpur, currently have fewer than 100 Covid infections each. Six districts — including Gondia, Nandurbar, Wardha, Bhandara, Washim and Yavatmal — have reported single digit cases of Covid-19 infection in recent days while others like Nagpur, Jalgaon, Amravati, Hingoli, Nanded and Dhule have reported between 20 and 99 cases of the infection.

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