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Number of RT-PCR, antigen tests in PMC increased; positivity rate also rising

PUNE Health officials have increased the number of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and Antigen tests in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits
By Namrata Devikar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 08:21 PM IST

PUNE Health officials have increased the number of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and Antigen tests in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits. The state health department increased the number of tests conducted to 84,000 as of February 25, from 60,000 in the week before that.

The positivity rate in Pune increased to 11.4 per cent on Thursday, from 10 per cent between February 13 and February 19.

As per officials, the positivity rate was 6.8 per cent between January 23 and January 29.

Officials attributed the increase in cases to citizens not following safety measures, like wearing masks and social distancing.

Dr Ashish Bharti, chief of the health department at PMC, said that the testing has increased, but the positivity rate also shows an increase.

“There is an increase in Covid cases. Testing has increased as well. We urge the public to maintain social distancing and wear a mask at all times to maintain safety,” said Dr Bharti.

State health department officials said that the increase in cases across Pune and other parts of the state are not due to any mutant strain.

State surveillance officer, Dr Pradeep Awate, said, “There are no new strains identified in the areas where there are more cases in the state. There has been an increase in Covid though because of various other reasons.”

He further added that due to a significant drop in temperature and no social restrictions due to the Gram Panchayat elections, there has been an increase in cases.

“During the elections, many people living in the cities went back to their villages. Also, many parts of the state, specially Vidarbha and northern Maharashtra, experienced cooler weather this time. Also, at many places there were weddings where the protocols of mask, social distancing and hand hygiene were not followed. Due to all these reasons, there has been an increase in cases in the city and in rural parts of the state,” said Dr Awate.

The positivity rate in Maharashtra is 10.34 % said Dr Awate. He also added that the rate has seen an increase in the last few weeks.

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