Mumbai: For the first time since March this year, the city's COVID-19 test positivity rate has dropped to five per cent this week. The test positivity rate (TPR) is the rate of positive cases detected out of the total number of tests done.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday said that in the past one week, there has been a decline in the number of daily cases of COVID-19 in the city as compared to the daily cases recorded during the previous weeks, and Mumbai has now recorded its lowest positivity rate since the pandemic broke out early this year. However, the civic officials cautioned that Mumbaikars should not let their guard down, as a spike in cases is still possible if not careful.
On November 26, Mumbai had a positivity rate of 6.69 per cent, and between November 26 and December 3, the positivity rate fluctuated between 6.49 per cent and 5.20 per cent.
Speaking on the matter, BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal said, "The rate of positivity looks promising for the past ten days. However, one must not become complacent as the virus is still there and a spike is still possible if people are not careful".
After Diwali, the BMC recorded an increase in number of active cases. Before Diwali, Mumbai used to record an average of 500-600 cases daily, but by the end of November, the number of daily active cases rose to 1,200. However, the numbers started to fall yet again by the end of November. Presently, Mumbai reports 700-850 COVID-19 cases daily.
"Ahead of the festive season in October, the positivity rate of Mumbai was around 18 per cent. In the past one-and-half months the rate has dipped drastically," Dr Rahul Saran, senior doctor and a member of state task force told FPJ.
Presently, Mumbai has an average doubling rate of 257 days and the average growth rate of the city is around 0.27 per cent. The civic officials, who have been apprehensive about a possible second wave, said that arrival of a second wave is still possible during the winter.
"The positive thing is that the number of tests conducted is still the same while the number of cases has dropped. This may have happened due to herd immunity, although scientifically it has not yet been proven. But Mumbaikars still need to be cautious during the ongoing winter season,” said a civic health official.