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)

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

Average positivity rate in Feb is 4%, compared to 3.98% in Jan; city records 1,035 new cases and 3 deaths on Friday
By Eeshanpriya MS
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 01:00 AM IST

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.

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.

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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