Cases rise, but Mumbai’s Covid positivity rate still at 3-5% - Hindustan Times

Cases rise, but Mumbai’s Covid positivity rate still at 3-5%

ByEeshanpriya MS
Feb 27, 2021 01:00 AM IST

Average positivity rate in Feb is 4%, compared to 3.98% in Jan; city records 1,035 new cases and 3 deaths on Friday

As the city sees a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has ramped up its testing in the past two weeks to an average of 18,000-22,000 per day against 11,000-15,000 tests conducted in January and the first week of this month.

Health workers participate in a Covid-19 awareness campaign at Dharavi, on Friday. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
Health workers participate in a Covid-19 awareness campaign at Dharavi, on Friday. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

In the past one week, Mumbai has seen a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases reported daily. This is the third time this month that Mumbai has reported over 1,000 cases in a single day. On Friday, Mumbai reported 1,035 cases and three deaths, taking the tally to 323,879 and toll to 11,466. On Wednesday, Mumbai reported 1,167 Covid-19 cases, while on Thursday, it reported 1,145 fresh cases. Before this, the city had recorded over 1,000 cases in November. There are 7,899 active cases in the city at present.

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However, despite the surge in the cases, the daily positivity rate is painting a hopeful picture for Mumbai. Positivity rate is the total number of cases tested positive for Covid-19 against the total tests done.

Over the past one week, Mumbai has reported a daily positivity rate between 3% and 6%, even as the overall positivity rate in the city stands at 10%. So far, Mumbai has conducted 3,230,798 tests, and has a total of 323,879 Covid-19 positive cases. The average positivity rate in February till Friday is 4% against the 3.98% recorded in the entire month of January.

“We’ve been tracking the positivity rate. Despite the high number of tests, the number of infected patients is under control. This is a good sign,” additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani, who is in-charge of the public health department, said earlier this week.

Mumbai’s average positivity rate peaked at 37% in June 2020, according to information from BMC. At the time, the civic body was conducting an average of 4,000-5,000 tests per day.

On Thursday, BMC conducted 22,113 tests, of which Mumbai’s daily positivity rate was 4.6%. Similarly on Wednesday, BMC conducted 23,315 Covid-19 tests and the daily positivity rate was 4.9%. However, these are approximate figures, said a senior civic official. “When BMC issues an official statement on the number of Covid-19 cases reported on any day, they are the new infections. However, when we calculate the positivity rate, we also take into account those who are testing positive for a second time, as part of the mandatory test required to be done before discharging a patient from a hospital,” said the official.

If the second test result also comes positive, the patient’s details are updated on Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) portal, but it is not counted as a fresh infection by the civic body for the day. Hence, BMC takes into account a difference of approximately 1% while calculating the daily positivity rate.

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