A Covid-19 vaccine shot being administered at Rajawadi Hospital in Mumbai, on February 7. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
A Covid-19 vaccine shot being administered at Rajawadi Hospital in Mumbai, on February 7. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

Covid-19: Maharashtra’s weekly positivity rate continues to rise

Positivity rate is the total number of cases tested positive for Covid-19 against the total tests done. State’s positivity rate had crossed 24% in September and October when the epidemic was at its peak here
PUBLISHED ON FEB 12, 2021 01:05 PM IST

The weekly positivity rate for Covid-19 in Maharashtra has been on the rise. The weekly positivity rate reached 5.48% on February 9, from 4.51% a week ago on February 2 and 4.37% two weeks ago on January 26. The rise is particularly noticeable in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), and it is being attributed to resumption in local train services, reopening of schools and laxity in Covid-appropriate behaviour.

As per the state health department data, the positivity rate of districts in MMR increased significantly. In Mumbai, it was 3.60% on February 9,from 3.28% a week ago, Thane reported 6.09% from 5.65%, while in Raigad it increased to 3.26% from 2.18% a week ago. In Pune, Nashik, two other cities with high number of cases, the jump was to 9.05 and 15.67% from 6.83% and 7.82% respectively during this period.

Positivity rate is the total number of cases tested positive for Covid-19 against the total tests done. State’s positivity rate had crossed 24% in September and October when the epidemic was at its peak in Maharashtra.

In some of the rural districts also, like Amaravati (13.67% from 9.68%), Akola(12.30% from 9.66), Wardha (11.19% from 4.49), Yavatmal (10.92% 7.87), Nagpur (9.24% from 9.09), Buldhana (8.28% from 4.05) the positivity rate has witnessed a sudden jump over the week. This is being attributed to the weak health infrastructure and drop in the tracking, tracing and testing of contacts. As many as 14 of 36 districts recorded more than state average of weekly positivity rate and was the highest in Nashik at 15.67%.

Also Read | Covid-19: 4 states/UTs recorded no new Covid-19 cases in last 24 hours

The daily testing dropped to 44,151 on February 9 from 56,557 on January 31 and 60,464 on January 21.

Maharashtra president of Indian Medical Associaton Dr Avinash Bhondve said there were a number of reasons for this rise in positivity rate. “It is because of multiple reasons, which include crowding of public places, opening of school, colleges, trains in MMR and lack of Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. People have become complacent. The number of attendees at public functions has gone up,” he said.

Additional municipal commissioner of Mumbai Suresh Kakani said the rise is also because of the increase in the number of domestic and international flights. “Generally, the spike is seen on the 6-7th day of opening up of any activity and in case of local trains, we did not see it on February 7 after allowing all to travel in trains from February 1...Thus, the rise cannot be fully attributed to the train travel. We will have to observe the situation for at least 10 more days to arrive at any conclusion,” he said.

He said that the call about further relaxation in train travel will be taken by February 22.

The state government, from February 1, allowed all to travel in trains in off-peak hours excluding 7am to 12 pm and 4pm to 9pm which are peak hours for suburban trains in MMR. This resulted in the jump in daily commuters to 30 lakh from 8 lakh before February 1.

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