Mumbai: With over 500 new cases being reported every day, Mumbai’s positivity rate is again on the rise, with senior BMC officials attributing it to the movement of people across the state and laxity in observance of Covid-safety protocol by citizens.
A few doctors are calling this spike in the daily case count as a second wave, while civic health officials have maintained that it is too early to term it thus.
According to the daily count data shared by the Mumbai civic body, the positivity rate has increased to 4 per cent, from 3.2 per cent last week.
With the flattening of the pandemic curve, the average daily positivity rate had dropped to below 3 per cent in January. But in the last seven days, it has again surged to 4.22 per cent. Relaxation of the lockdown, violation of physical distancing and other norms, and local trains for all are the contributing factors.
Another indicator of surging cases in the city is the overall case doubling rate and the weekly growth rate of infection.
While Mumbai has conducted over 30.39 lakh cumulative Covid-19 tests till now, the doubling rate has now declined, from 564 days on February 1 to 445 on February 16, 2021. Meanwhile, the daily growth rate increased to 0.16 per cent on Tuesday, February 16 from 0.12 per cent on February 1.
Kakani said many people who had followed strict home quarantine during the lockdown and when trains were shut for the public, have now started venturing out to work, thereby increasing the risk of exposure.
Mumbai has been a Covid hotspot ever since the pandemic hit the country. However, cases had started declining significantly by the end of June. But in the last fortnight, there has been a sudden surge in the number of cases reported daily
Hearteningly, however, there is not much change in the number of fatalities, with the numbers having come down marginally in the past two-three months. The daily death count has remained below 5 for the past month.
Additional Municipal Commissioner (health) Suresh Kakani said, “There has been a rise in cases over the last couple of days, with a decrease in the doubling rate and increase in growth rate being indicators of the same. We are stepping up containment measures accordingly. We are not speaking of a lockdown but citizens will have to be more alert and follow Covid-safety protocol."
Dr Deepak Baid, president, Association of Medical Consultants, said the main reason for a surge in the positivity rate in the last one week is the violation of Covid norms by citizens. Officegoers are not wearing masks in office, due to which the chances of infection increase. “Even though cases have increased, there is no need to panic. I urge citizens to wear masks whether they are in office or visiting crowded places, so that they will not contract infection,” he said.
Meanwhile, health experts have hinted it is a sign of a second wave if the cases keep increasing on a daily basis. “Currently, we have to closely monitor the number of cases for the next seven days. Only after that can we come to the point where we could determine if it indicates a second of wave or not,” he said.