Pune district’s positivity rate up from 10% in February to 31% on March 21
The spread of the Covid-19 infection continues to grow, as is evident by the district’s rising positivity rate.
The positivity rate on March 21, as per the district health office is 31%, higher that the peak positivity rate last year.
The positivity rate, which was 10% in the week between February 13 and February 19, 2021, has now gone up to 21%, between March 14 and March 20. The positivity rate was at 5.7% in between January 30 and February 5.
Despite the administration increasing its testing, the number of cases also continues to rise. State officials believe that this could be because of a new variant of the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which causes the Coronavirus, which is transmitting much faster.
The fresh Covid cases include tests results of both RT-PCR and the Rapid Antigen tests.
During the peak months of August and September 2020, the positivity rate had reached 24%, and 19%, respectively, for Pune. The current rate is almost at par with this peak of the first wave of infections.
On November 2, 2020, Dr Subhash Salunkhe, Covid-19 advisor to the Maharashtra government, in a letter to divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao, had written about a possible second wave.
In the letter, Salunkhe references the positivity rate in September being 24.30% and then, in November, going down to 9.94%.
In the letter he advises aggressive testing, surveillance on super spreaders and a sero survey in urban and rural areas.
The administration has performed only one sero survey so far.
Dr Raman Gangakhedkar, former head scientist of the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases division at the Indian Council of Medical Research, said, “We have no concrete proof of mutation and we need stronger evidence. As of now we know that people are not following Covid- appropriate behaviour. Also, now we are going in for demand-driven tests, which is what most people are demanding; RT-PCR tests; which is why the number of false negatives is going down. Only wearing masks and social distancing will help. Variants may compromise the vaccine efficacy or even the possible factor of reinfections, but irrespective of all this, only a mask is most effective.”