Rapid antigen tests: 5 wards in north Mumbai see 7% positivityUpdated: Jul 24, 2020 01:23 IST
Rapid antigen tests conducted on more than 9,000 people across the city have shown that Mumbai has a Covid-positivity rate of 13%. The infection rate is highest in residential areas, say authorities, but the spread is limited. In the five wards with the most Covid-19 cases, the positivity rate is 7%.
On July 2, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) started rapid antigen tests at the five wards with the most Covid-19 cases — R (North), covering Dahisar; R (Central), covering Borivli (West); R (South), covering Kandivli; P (North), covering Malad; and P (South), covering Goregaon. The tests are being conducted on high-risk contacts who are under observation in Covid care centres (CCC1).
As of Thursday, 3,923 high-risk contacts from these five wards have been tested and 277 are Covid-positive. In R (Central) ward, 99 out of the 1,000 tested were positive for Covid-19. In R south, 81 of the 905 tested were positive. P (North) ward has the most active cases (1,816) and of the 1,026 high-risk contacts tested, 57 were Covid-positive. In P (South) ward, out of 435, 32 tested positive. R (North) ward has the lowest number of positive patients (554) in antigen testing and of them, eight were found positive. “We have observed that the infection rate is the highest among people in residential areas. But thankfully, the spread of the virus among high-risk contacts is still under control due to timely contact tracing and isolation,” said Sandhya Nandekar, ward officer for R (North) ward.
BMC confirms Covid diagnoses by running a second analysis through reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests on individuals with symptoms even if their samples test negative in rapid antigen tests. Of the 3,923 who have undergone rapid antigen testing, only one false negative case was reported from P (South) ward. “Three people with symptoms were again tested using RT-PCR. Of this, one negative person turned positive in the second analysis,” said a ward official.
Till Thursday afternoon, 9,371 people from eight wards, private hospitals and three civic-run hospitals had been tested with rapid antigen kits. Of them, 1,214 are Covid-positive, giving the city a positivity rate of 13%. The positivity rate is highest in hospitals where a large number of symptomatic close contacts were tested with rapid antigen. At BYL Nair Hospital of the 805 people tested, 252 were Covid-positive, giving the hospital a positivity rate of 31%. “At CCCs, we run antigen tests on a large number of symptomatic individuals. Thus, the count of positive patients will be higher in hospitals,” said an officer from Nair Hospital.