COVID-19 in Mumbai: Positivity rate dips to 16%

Maharashtra, on Tuesday, reported 3,442 new cases and 70 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing its respective tallies to 18,86,807 and 48,339 till now. Meanwhile, the recovery rate of Mumbai and Maharashtra has touched 93 per cent. Mumbai recorded 521 new cases and seven fatalities. Their corresponding counts are now 2,85,580 and 10,995. Moreover, the active cases have dropped below 10,000 for the second consecutive day.

Health department officials said the rate of infection is under control as the positivity rate, a key parameter to see how rapidly the infection is spreading, is around 7%. The state has witnessed a dip in the overall positivity rate in the state from nearly 20% in October to nearly 16% in December. On October 13, the overall positivity rate was 19.89%, which dropped to 17.9% on November 13. The overall positivity rate on Monday stood at 16.03%.

A state health department official said the spread of the virus has been seeing a dip, which is why the positivity rate has been dropping gradually. “If one looks at the positivity rate of just one month, between November 14 and December 14, it shows a substantial decline in the positivity rate. The positivity rate in this period was 7.05%, lower than the overall positivity rate. A significant percentage of the population could have developed antibodies, which is a reason for the lower infection rates now. We are happy that the numbers are showing a dip, but the administration remains on guard,” he said, requesting anonymity.

State surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate said that the declining trend is continuing, which is a relieving part. “The rate of infection is decreasing and herd immunity could be playing a major role in it,” he added.

Dr Subhash Salunkhe, chairman of communicable diseases prevention control and member of the state-appointed technical committee, echoed Awate’s view on herd immunity. “The sero surveys that have been carried out in Mumbai and Pune are indicators that congested areas that saw many cases are now seeing fewer cases. Indications are that a herd immunity-like situation is occurring in the state. There are a lot of people who were affected, but might not be detected. However, we are still seeing cases coming out, so the viral activity has not stopped.”

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