Mumbai: Mumbai has witnessed a drop in the usage of Covid self-test kits (STK) since September 2022. As per the data, 72,732 people opted for the self-test kit option in January 2022 when the third wave started; of these, 3,661 were found positive. In August 2022, 2,677 people diagnosed themselves at home and only 88 of them tested positive. Since September, 169 people have used STK and just two of them tested positive.
The number of those opting for self-diagnosis has reduced as people have developed immunity and the prevalence of the virus has decreased drastically due to which cases are also very less.
Senior health official from the civic-run hospital said though there is a fear among the citizens that Covid cases might increase, the demand for STK has dropped drastically over the months.
There have been instances when people had stopped informing their positive reports while doing tests at their home, but since the civic body has kept a close watch on the usage of STK, those infected have started to come forward.
“We have seen that the usage of STK had started to drop since September last year as people understood that they have developed immunity and there is no harm for them from contracting the virus as they are fully vaccinated. But people who have mild symptoms get themselves checked at home to avoid getting isolated or quarantined. If you go by the numbers it has come down drastically compared to usage during the third wave in January,” he said.
Dr Gautam Bhansali, a physician at the Bombay Hospital, said, “Ongoing infection is not a concern as there is a slight rise in cases. But a good thing is that everyone is vaccinated due to which there is nothing to worry about.”
Dr Ishwar Gilada, a physician and infectious disease specialist as well as Organised Medicine Academic Guild (OMAG) Secretary General, said India’s advantages emerge from natural Covid infections over the past two years that scientists believe affected over 90% of the population. High vaccination coverage with over 75% of the adult population having received two doses and 28% three doses is another benefit, the medico added.
“Whether they’re BA.2 or its derivatives, including XBB or other known variants, they’re all sub-lineages of Omicron, which we know has been associated with mild symptoms. There is a need for hospitalisation in very few cases, mainly in those with underlying illnesses,” Dr Gilada said.
Decline in self-test kit usage
3,661 found +ve
88 found +ve
2 found +ve
Reasons for decline
Less no. of cases
Getting used to 'new normal'
We have seen that the usage of STK had started to drop since September last year as people understood that they have developed immunity and there is no harm for them from contracting the virus as they are fully vaccinated.
Senior health official
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