Mumbai reports 13,702 fresh cases, test positivity rate dips marginally
MUMBAI Mumbai’s Test Positivity Rate (TPR) dipped further on Thursday as the city recorded 13,702 fresh infections in the past 24 hours taking the total case tally to 969,989 and six deaths taking the total death toll to 16,426.
The BMC conducted 63,031 tests on Wednesday and the TPR stood at 21.73%. Earlier this week, the TPR was around 24.3% on January 12 (Wednesday); 18.75% on January 11 (Tuesday); and 23% on January 10 (Monday). Besides this, the bed occupancy also recorded a marginal fall on Thursday with 17.3% out of the total 36,979 beds staying occupied in Mumbai. Experts however maintained that it’s too early to conclude whether the ongoing third wave has started to ebb in Mumbai.
Dr Rahul Pandit from the national and state Covid-19 task force said that even if the daily case figures are lower than what they were last week, it is too early to make any concrete conclusion on the overall trend. “If we see the numbers closely, one can say that the figures are not yet consistent and they are fluctuating. If today, less number of cases are reported then there are chances that tomorrow, the tally may increase slightly and the day after, it may again fall. We have already seen this trend before. We need to wait for a few more weeks and then compare the weekly trends in order to understand the overall picture and arrive at a conclusion,” said Dr Pandit.
Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the state Covid-19 task force, however said that there are still thousands of unreported cases in the city which is a matter of concern. “Like we know now that people have started taking tests on their own and we will not be able to know the bigger picture unless we get clarity on the number of self-tests that the citizens are taking daily in the city. Even if the cases are going down, we need to keep this factor in mind that we must stay prepared at least for the next one month. At present, the focus should be on systemic treatment of symptomatic cases over case numbers because the delta variant is still here and many of the severe symptoms are being caused because of it,” said Dr Joshi.
Dr Vasant Nagvekar from Global Hospital, who is also a member of the state taskforce, said that it could be possible that by the middle of February, the number of cases may start receding. “We have now started to see fewer patients seeking treatment at the family physician level which is a good signal and it is possible that the TPR may start declining from the end of this month,” said Dr Nagvekar.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner and in-charge of public health, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said that the civic body collected approximate data of self-testing kits sold in the last 24 hours and analysed the reports. “Many buyers were tracked by the BMC war rooms and it was revealed that nearly one lakh kits were sold in the past 24 hours out of which only 1 or 2% of patients were positive,” said Kakani. Earlier on Wednesday, Kakani had said that the civic body will be writing to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking them to urge all chemist shops to provide data of patients who buy Covid-19 self-testing kits from them. “We are working towards getting the day-to-day data of all the patients who are taking Covid-19 self-tests in every 24 hours. We will be adding these figures in the daily case report, which will also give us clarity about the ongoing situation,” said Kakani. He said that so far the situation in Mumbai is much better than the BMC had predicted it to be last week. “Considering the figures that we saw at the end of last week, we are in a much better position and the bed occupancy level also hasn’t risen very much. Still, less than 20% of the beds are occupied and many of the occupants are also high-risk contacts and mildly symptomatic patients. At the same time, testing is happening at maximum capacity and the civic body is also monitoring all pathological laboratories to submit reports within 24 hours,” said Kakani.
Out of the total patients that were reported on Thursday, 84% are asymptomatic and at present, there are 95,123 active cases in the city and the recovery rate of Mumbai is 88%.
Maharashtra continued to record a high number of Covid-19 cases at 46,406 infections on Thursday.
The state logged in a positivity rate of 21.38 per cent as 46,406 citizens tested positive of the total 2,16,970 tests conducted. On Wednesday, the state had recorded 46,723 cases.
State surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate said that the situation seems to be stabilising. “Contrary to the initial expectations of exponential growth in the transmission numbers, we are seeing that we are inching towards a peak. We expect the virus to peak in a week or two and even the decline will be equally sharp,” said Dr Awate.
No Omicron cases were reported in the state