Mumbai’s Covid positivity rate tops 15%, highest since January

The test positivity rate (TPR) – the number of positive cases of coronavirus infection out of the total tests carried out in Mumbai – soared to 15.58% on Tuesday, the highest since January this year.

On Monday, Mumbai had recorded 1,118 new Covid-19 cases out of 9,622 tests carried out, raising the TPR to 11.61%. In 24 hours, daily cases jumped 54% as the city reported 1,724 new Covid-19 cases out of 11,065 tests conducted on Tuesday.

On June 3, Dr. Pradeep Vyas, the additional chief secretary, had written a letter to district administrations, urging them to step up testing and genome sequencing. But more than 10 days later, the testing average remained low at around 10,000 tests performed daily. At the start of the third wave of Covid-19 infections in December last year, nearly 35,000 tests were being carried out daily in Mumbai.

However, city officials claimed the high positivity rate was due to targeted testing by hospitals. “Previously, we randomly tested the floating population of train stations, markets and airports. Now most samples are taken from hospitals where positivity will be more than random testing,” said an officer from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

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Due to mild severity, 98% of beds are vacant in Mumbai. As of June 14, of the 4,751 beds equipped with oxygen facilities, 33 were occupied. Similarly, of the 1,523 intensive care beds, only 53 had patients.

“The wave of Omicron infections remained milder than any previous wave of Covid-19. Since the infection is limited to the upper respiratory system and can be effectively treated, the spread of the infection is likely to be short-lived and mild,” said Dr Rahul Tambe, Senior Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases Consultant at Nanavati Hospital.

The overall average infection growth rate in Mumbai was 0.149%. Of Mumbai’s 24 wards, 12 have experienced growth rates above the city average. The M-East district, which covers areas around Chembur, leads the rankings with a growth rate of 0.231%.

Meanwhile, a day after registering 1,885 new Covid-19 cases, Maharashtra’s daily tally of new cases rose to 2,956, with four deaths from the infection.